White Irish Drinkers writer-director John Gray has acquired the Bryan Gruley mystery thriller The Hanging Tree, and he’ll write the script to direct. Gray will also produce it under his Ovington Avenue Productions along with partner Melissa Jo Peltier. They worked together on White Irish Drinkers, the coming-of-age drama that was released by Screen Media. The Hanging Tree is the second novel in Gruley’s Starvation Lake mystery series. Gus Carpenter, a former Detroit Times reporter-turned-detective, tries to solve the mystery of how a former resident of the Michigan resort town winds up hanging from a tree after she returns home. Gray, who created the CBS series The Ghost Whisperer and wrote and directed Martin and Lewis and Helter Skelter for CBS, also directed the features Born to Be Wild and The Glimmer Man. The book deal was made by WME. “Bryan Gruley has written a brilliant series of novels, with rich characters in an incredibly visual and fascinating world,” Gray said. “The themes in this particular novel resonated deeply with me and I’m passionate about bringing it to the screen.”
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