EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures is eyeing Scott Frank to write The Seven Five, the feature film adaptation of the hard-hitting ’80s NYPD corrupt-cop documentary that the studio grabbed in a big auction in December amidst the hacking scandal. If the deal makes, it will be a whopper and will pair Frank with already attached helmer Yann Demange. That would be some tie-up: Frank is one of the best writers in Hollywood — his credits range from Get Shorty to Minority Report to The Wolverine to his most recent effort A Walk Among The Tombstones — and Demange was on most Best British Film lists with his feature debut, last year’s gritty crime drama ’71.
Sony has been lining up big names for this since production president Michael De Luca landed remake rights to the docu, which premiered in November at DOC NYC. In early February, Le Grisbi Productions’s John Lesher (Oscar Best Picture winner Birdman) and Annapurna’s Megan Ellison (Foxcatcher) came aboard to produce, and Demange followed them a couple weeks later.
The Tiller Russell-directed and Eli Holzman produced docu, the cop version of Goodfellas, centered on one of the most corrupt police forces in 1980s New York. It’s main subject was Michael Dowd, who was arrested in 1992 for leading a ring of dirty cops for the best part of eight years. Their crimes included theft, abuse and drug dealing. Dowd’s case exposed widespread corruption in the force and sent him to prison for 14 years. Holzman is also producing the feature.
This is a major package, and though Frank’s deal hasn’t commenced this is how it will play out. Demange is hot stuff and screenwriter par excellence Frank doesn’t do a lot of these assignments. Stay tuned.