Melisa Wallack has been tapped to write the screenplay for “King of Kings,” the story of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran.
Gateway Films is backing the picture and is currently lining up a director. In Wallack, the studio gets an Oscar-nominated writer, whose credits include “Dallas Buyers Club” and “Mirror Mirror.” She is currently working with “Dallas Buyers Club” director Jean-Marc Vallee on “Janis Joplin: Get it While You Can” and is writing “Dancing With Myself” for Warner Bros.
The film looks at the Shah’s often fraught relationship with the United States, and documents the mistakes that set the stage for the Iranian revolution and the rise of religious leader Ruhollah Khomeini.
Terry Stone, who wrote a treatment of “King of Kings,” will produce on behalf of Gateway Films, along with executive producer Chris Howard.
“The Shah of Iran is one of history’s most polarizing figures — once considered amongst the most powerful and reviled figures on the planet,” Stone said in a statement. “Melisa is a brilliant writer as evidence by ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ and will provide a timely examination of the legacy of foreign interventionism, and the consequences of the Shah’s reign and eventual downfall.”
Wallack is represented by WME and Behr Abramson Levy. London-based Gateway Films’ upcoming slate includes “Away” with Timothy Spall and Juno Temple, “Once Upon a Time in London” and “No Great Beauty.”