Defending Jacob by William Landay

VARIETY: 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."

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.

Deadline Hollywood Daily

Warner Bros Buys Novel 'Defending Jacob'

Warner Bros has acquired screen rights to the William Landay suspense novel Defending Jacob for Mary Parent to produce through her Disruption banner. The novel involves a district attorney in Boston whose son is accused of killing a classmate. As he tries to clear his boy, the DA discovers many things about his son that he didn't know, including the possibility the 14-year old might actually have done it. Alice Martell of The Martell Agency and Jody Hotchkiss of Hotchkiss and Associated brokered the deal.