×

WB summons Kloves for ‘Defending Jacob’

'Potter' scribe in talks to direct legal thriller; Parent producing

Warner Bros. is in talks with “Harry Potter” scribe Steve Kloves to write and direct “Defending Jacob,” an adaptation of William Landay’s legal thriller.

Mary Parent will produce through her Disruption Entertainment banner.

Set in a wealthy Boston suburb, novel follows a district attorney who must leave his day job to defend his son from a murder charge while uncertain of his son’s innocence.

Landay’s tome has so far spent five months on the New York Times bestseller list and has been compared to novels “Presumed Innocent” and “Ordinary People.” Publishing rights for “Jacob” have sold in 17 countries.

Paramount-based Disruption, which Parent set up last year, has ramped up business with projects including Guillermo del Toro’s robots-vs.-monsters actioner “Pacific Rim” and New Line’s “The Watching Hour.”

Kloves wrote seven of the eight “Harry Potter” pics, and he worked on the script for “Akira,” as well as Sony’s “The Amazing Spider-Man.” He previously helmed “The Fabulous Baker Boys” and “Flesh and Bone.”

Popular on Variety

Lynn Harris will oversee “Jacob” for the studio, which is also in talks with Kloves to write, direct and produce WB’s live-action take on “The Jungle Book.” While deals are not yet signed, sources say “Jacob” would come first for the multihyphenate.

CAA reps Kloves, while the Martell Agency and Hotchkiss and Associates represented dramatic rights to the book.

More Film

  • Will Smith and Martin Lawrence star

    Box Office: 'Bad Boys for Life,' '1917' Shoot Past $100 Million

    Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are showing plenty of staying power at North American multiplexes with about $31 million for the weekend, estimates showed Saturday. Sony’s third installment of the “Bad Boys” action comedy franchise is crossing the $100 million mark at the box office one Saturday, its ninth day of release, and will finish [...]

  • Dinner in America

    'Dinner in America': Film Review

    There are bits of “Repo Man,” “Napoleon Dynamite” and other literally or just philosophically “punk rock” cult comedies in the DNA of Adam Carter Rehmeier’s rude yet ingratiating “Dinner in America” — and mercifully none whatsoever here of his 2011 first feature “The Bunny Game,” a shrilly monotonous “extreme” horror for which all is now [...]

  • AtmosphereSundance Film Festival preperations, Park City,

    Sundance: Study Finds Lack of Inclusion at Film Festivals

    A study by the Time’s Up Foundation and USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative has found that women and people of color are vastly underrepresented at film festivals worldwide. The new report, “Inclusion at Film Festivals,” examined the gender, race, and ethnicity of narrative film directors, film festival programmers, and executives from 2017-2019. The study was released [...]

  • Worth

    'Worth': Film Review

    As a child, when future TV host Fred Rogers would see scary images on the news, his mother would tell him, “Look for the heroes.” If Fred were a boy today, she’d add, “Look for Ken Feinberg.” Feinberg, the lawyer at the center of Sara Colangelo’s “Worth,” specializes in putting a price tag on human [...]

  • Mika Ronkainen and Merja Aakko

    ‘All the Sins’ Producers to Broaden Spanish-Language Ties (EXCLUSIVE)

    GÖTEBORG, Sweden: “All the Sins”’ Finnish co-writers and creators Mika Ronkainen and Merja Aakko, winners of last year’s Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize for outstanding Nordic screenplay, are developing for MRK Matila Röhr Productions an adoption drama set between Finland and Guatemala. Based on a true story, the six-part series “Act of Telling” (a [...]

  • A still from Vivos by Ai

    'Vivos': Film Review

    To the individual enduring it, sorrow seems a lonely, defenseless emotion, one from which others are too quick to look away. Shared and felt en masse, however, it can become something different: a galvanizing force, a wall, not diminished in pain but not diminished by it either. Ai Weiwei’s stirring new documentary “Vivos” runs on [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content