EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros. is entrusting Canadian author Linwood Barclay’s novel “Trust Your Eyes” to an unlikely on-the-lot favorite son — “Hangover” helmer Todd Phillips, who’s agreed to direct his first thriller for the studio.
Phillips’ production banner Green Hat Films has a first-look deal at WB, which won the book in a bidding war. Studio has been supportive of Phillips’ decision to branch out into other genres after a string of hit comedies, including “Due Date” and the “Hangover” trilogy.
Phillips will produce “Trust Your Eyes” with Dan Lin of Lin Pictures, whose exec Jon Silk will co-produce. Barclay will exec produce with Scott Budnick and Mark O’Connor of Green Hat. WB exec Niija Kuykendall will oversee for the studio.
Described as a cross between Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” and Barry Levinson’s “Rain Man,” story follows a schizophrenic, map-obsessed savant who witnesses a murder online on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. He insists that his older brother investigate, and the siblings cross paths with a politically connected ex-cop and his ice pick-wielding henchwoman.
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APA’s Steven Fisher negotiated the film deal, while Helen Heller repped the book deal.
“The Hangover” came out of nowhere to gross $467 million worldwide, while last year’s sequel grossed $581 million globally. Phillips is currently directing “The Hangover Part III,” which is adding John Goodman and Melissa McCarthy to the regular ensemble.
With that franchise coming to a close, Phillips has been looking to direct something other than a comedy. He’s developing a remake of Karel Reisz’s drama “The Gambler” at Paramount as well as an adaptation of the Rolling Stone article “Arms and the Dudes” with producer Mark Gordon.
It remains unclear where “Trust Your Eyes” falls on his list of priorities.
Phillips is repped by CAA and attorney Warren Dern.