EXCLUSIVE: The Blind Side director John Lee Hancock has been set to write and direct The Partner, based on the John Grisham bestseller. The project is set up at New Regency, whose principal, Arnon Milchan, previously adapted the Grisham novels A Time To Kill, The Client and Runaway Jury, back in the day when Grisham was getting up to $8 million for movie rights to his legal thrillers.
Hancock has also been circling Highwaymen, the John Fusco-scripted drama about the vet cops dragged out of retirement to hunt down bank robbers Bonny and Clyde. If Hancock commits to that film, he’ll do The Partner next.
Published in 2005, The Partner is about Patrick Lanigan, a young partner in a white shoe Biloxi law firm with a wife and newborn daughter. Trapped in a burning car one night, he died, leaving behind only ashes. But Lanigan is disillusioned enough by his life to fake his death and steal $90 million from his firm. He just has to hope the wrong people don’t catch up with him as he goes on the run. CAA-repped Hancock made his directing debut on The Rookie, after scripting such films as A Perfect World and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.