EXCLUSIVE: The Firm and new film boss Robbie Brenner are joining Jason Keller, David Dobkin and Jeff Kleeman to produce a movie based on Brian Garfield’s historical novel The Paladin. The book, published in 1980, is based on the true story of how Winston Churchill orchestrated a shift in the war through a top-secret program where he turned a 15-year-old boy into one of England’s deadliest assassins.

Keller (Machine Gun Preacher) and playwright Eric Pfeffinger co-wrote the screenplay. The producers are meeting now with directors and talent. Dobkin and Kleeman previously teamed as producers on The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and The Judge. CAA packaged the pic and reps domestic rights.

The prolific Garfield’s books include Death Wish, which became the foundation for the Charles Bronson movie franchise, and The Stepfather which also became a movie series. He also co-adapted his novel Hopscotch into a 1980 movie starring Walter Matthau and Glenda Jackson.

The Firm featured logoThis is Brenner’s second pickup since exiting Relativity Media as production president in September to take the film-side reins of Jeff Kwatinetz’s The Firm. The first is a project she developed at Relativity: an adaptation of Joy Nicholson’s novel Tribes Of Palos Verdes, with Jennifer Garner and Maika Monroe set to star, and Emmett and Brendan Malloy directing. Karen Croner wrote the script for that pic, which is now set for a February production start.

Kwatinetz will serve as an executive producer on Paladin.