Warner Bros bought the rights to the new Dennis Lehane novel coming out this fall, Live By Night, as a star vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio. The novel uses characters from Lehane's earlier novel The Given Day and brings them into the Prohibition era.
Warner Bros has also snapped up the screen rights to a debut thriller by Roger Hobbs titled The Ghostman, which also won't be published until later this year The book centers a young man who cleans up messes and helps fugitives disappear, but ends up involved in a casino heist gone terribly wrong. The seven-figure deal has the studio taking a chance on a script they haven't yet seen, but Warner Brothers is apparently eager to proceed with the project because "it has franchise potential for a young leading man in his 30s."
Joseph Finder's novel Paranoia, a corporate espionage thriller set in the world of dueling telecom giants, is being adapted for film. The project has signed Robert Luketic to direct and The Hunger Games' Liam Hemsworth to play the lead. Also in talks to join the cast are veteran actors Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman.
Mark Whalberg is in early talks to play Patrick Lanigan in the film adaptation of John Grisham’s eighth legal thriller The Partner. The character of Lanigan is a young partner in a prominent law firm who fakes his own death to steal a fortune from his company and set up a new life in Brazil.
Woody Harrelson and Forest Whitaker have joined the cast of Out Of The Furnace. The film follows two brothers(played by Christian Bale and Casey Affleck), who find themselves gradually sucked into a life of crime. Harrelson will play a crime boss and Whitaker town sheriff Wesley Barnes.
Woody Harrelson is a busy man. He and Matthew McConaughey will star in an eight-part cable cop drama titled True Detective, described as an elevated serial narrative with multiple perspectives and time frames.
HBO has acquired rights to Philip Kerr's novel Berlin Noir to adapt into a television series following police officer Bernie Gunther in 1930s Germany, set during the run-up to WWII and then the Cold War following.
The British miniseries Spies of Warsaw, based on Alan Furst's novel, will be co-produced by BBC America, meaning the series will appear on that network in the U.S. as part of its Dramaville programming block. The series stars David Tennant (Doctor Who) and Janet Montgomery (Black Swan) and is set in Poland, Paris, London and Berlin in the years leading up to the Second World War.
AMC is developing a television adaptation of the new crime comic series Thief of Thieves, written by Robert Kirkman and Nick Spencer. The plot centers on Conrad Paulson, who lives a secret double life as master thief Redmond. (Hat tip to Omnimystery News.)
As Omnimystery News also reports, Stephen Fry and Dougie Henshall have signed to star in Doors Open, a TV adaptation for ITV in the UK of the 2008 stand-alone heist novel by Ian Rankin.
The BBC's two-parter starring Martin Shaw, that's loosely based on the George Gently books by British author Alan Hunter, is starting to show up on various PBS stations around the country. (Check with your local station for possible scheduling.)
Craig McLachlan has been cast as the lead in a new Australian Broadcasting Company period crime drama. Titled The Dr. Blake Mysteries, the ten-part series features McLachlan playing Dr. Lucien Blake, GP and police surgeon in 1959 Australia.
Philip Kerr joined host Linda Wertheimer on NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday to talk about his latest novel featuring World War II-era cop Bernie Gunther and how Kerr created Bernie as a sort of German Everyman, who confronts the moral quandaries of his time. (See HBO news item above for more on Bernie's exploits.)
In June, the Halifax County Little Theatre in South Boston, Virginia, will present free stagings in Constitution Square of the play Velda: Girl Detective, by author/illustrator Ron Miller (who worked as a production illustrator for the motion picture version of Dune). Velda is based on a character Miller created for a novel and series of short stories and comic books.