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Castle Rock options ‘Playing Joe’

Lobell will produce thriller; Meyer to rewrite Miller's script

Castle Rock has optioned “Playing Joe,” a Hitchcock-style thriller script from Jeff Miller.

The production company has hired Nicholas Meyer to rewrite it.

Mike Lobell will produce with CR’s Martin Shafer and Liz Glotzer.

Lobell said the script is a Rio-set romantic thriller in the vein of “North by Northwest,” with memory loss and recovery key to the plot.

Deal comes as Lobell is teamed with former partner Andrew Bergman on an hourlong pilot transfer of “The Freshman,” the Matthew Broderick-Marlon Brando 1990 comedy that Bergman wrote and directed, and Lobell produced. Bergman is writing a 90-minute pilot script for USA Network and Sony. Michael Edelstein and Bergman will be executive producers, and Lobell will be creative consultant.

Lobell separately is moving ahead with “Gambit,” a Joel and Ethan Coen-scripted remake of the 1966 British caper comedy that originally starred Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine. The pic came close to production starts three different times with different financiers and talent. Lobell said he is looking for a new director.

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