Bill Wheeler to adapt ‘Lizard King’

Fox 2000 sets scribe for pic based on Bryan Christy book

With his adaptation of “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” set to open Venice later this month, scribe Bill Wheeler has been tapped to adapt Bryan Christy’s nonfiction tome “The Lizard King” for Fox 2000.

“Hope Springs” helmer David Frankel is attached to direct. Karen Rosenfelt (“Twilight”) is producing through her Sunswept Entertainment banner.

“The Lizard King” is a romantic caper about a female Fish and Wildlife agent’s attempts to catch and successfully prosecute a wily international reptile smuggler based in Miami. Her job is made easier by the smuggler’s reckless partner, who also happens to be his father. Book chronicles the exploits of Mike and Ray Von Nostrand, a father-and-son team that ran a large reptile smuggling operation in the ’90s.

Wheeler is also writing “Brand,” an original pilot set in the world of a mega-church, for HBO and producer Landscape Entertainment. Scribe’s previous credits include Lasse Hallstrom’s “The Hoax” and NBC’s “The Cape.”

Wheeler is repped by UTA, Anonymous Content and attorneys Alan Wertheimer and Darren Trattner.