Gary Fleder to direct ‘Protection’

Pic set up at 20th Century Fox-based Davis Entertainment

Gary Fleder is attached to direct the thriller “Protection” for 20th Century Fox.

John Davis, who has “Gulliver’s Travels” and “Marmaduke” in the can for the studio, is producing via his Fox-based shingle, Davis Entertainment. John Fogel is also producing.

Story centers on a college professor who investigates the disappearance of his wife and daughter and who must confront authorities at the Witness Protection Program to find them.

Mark Bomback has been tapped to rewrite the script, which was an original spec from Allan Loeb. Miles Chapman penned the most recent draft.

Fleder and Davis most recently worked together on the football pic “The Express” for Universal.

Fleder, whose bigscreen credits include “Runaway Jury,” is also attached to helm the crime thriller “Darkling Cove” for Davis Entertainment.

Fleder’s Mojo Films has an overall deal with ABC. He recently directed the pilot and is exec producer of the ABC series “Happy Town,” which airs in April. He also directed the pilot and is exec producer of “Life Unexpected,” which premiered this year on the CW network.

Bomback recently penned drafts of “Unstoppable” for Fox and director Tony Scott and “Jack and the Giant Killer” for New Line and helmer Bryan Singer.

Fleder and Bomback are repped by WME.