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Film News Roundup: Tony Gilroy Developing Thriller With ‘Harry Potter’ Producer

In today’s film news roundup, Tony Gilroy has come on board the project formerly known as “Methuselah,” “Beauty and the Beast” producers join “The Punch Escrow” and Almost Never Films hires executives.

PROJECT DEVELOPMENT

Tony Gilroy, who made his directorial debut with “Michael Clayton,” is in negotiations to write and possibly direct an untitled thriller for Warner Bros. with “Harry Potter” producer David Heyman.

If the deal goes through, it will be Gilroy’s first directing gig since 2012’s “The Bourne Legacy,” starring Jeremy Renner. Gilroy also co-wrote the script for “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” with Chris Weitz.

The Warner Bros. project, formerly called “Methuselah,” has been in the works since 2009 at Warner Bros. and had Tom Cruise attached at one point. Based on the character from the Bible, the story follows a man who lives for hundreds of years and has used his time to develop an incredible set of survival skills.

Heyman will produce through his Heyday Pictures with Jeff Clifford. Zach Dean came on to write the script in 2014. 

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Gilroy received Academy Award nominations for directing and writing “Michael Clayton.” He is repped by CAA and Craig Emanuel at Loeb & Loeb. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

PRODUCER ATTACHMENT

“Beauty and the Beast” producers David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman have come on board Liosngate’s sci-fi thriller “The Punch Escrow” with James Bobin directing.

Based on the Tal M. Klein novel,  the story — set in the year 2147 — centers on a man who trains artificial-intelligence engines to act more human-like, and is accidentally duplicated while teleporting. He’s forced to deal with the dubious organization that controls teleportation in a world that now has two of him.

Bobin was one of the creators of the TV series “Flight of the Conchords” and made his feature directorial debut on Disney’s “The Muppets.” He also wrote and directed the 2014 sequel, “Muppets Most Wanted.”

Hoberman and Lieberman produced both “Muppets” movies and a pair of upcoming Lionsgate projects — Boston Marathon bombing drama “Stronger,” which stars Jake Gyllenhaal and opens Sept 22; and “Wonder,” which stars Julia Roberts and Jacob Tremblay with a Nov. 17 launch.

EXECUTIVE HIRES

Almost Never Films has appointed Daniel Roth as chief creative officer and Damiano Tucci as chief operating officer.

Roth and Tucci were most recently co-founders of Parkside Pictures, a film production and finance company. They have credits on “LBJ” directed by Rob Reiner and starring Woody Harrelson; “Hurricane Heist” directed by Rob Cohen (“The Fast & The Furious”); “The Last Word” starring Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried; and “Bleed” a Chinese production filmed in Georgia.

Roth will develop film, television and all forms of content as well as acquire source material and intellectual property. Tucci will oversee all physical production for ANF projects as well as structure finance plans for the company.

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