The project is described as a psychological thriller in the vein of Gone Girl and Basic Instinct. Story follows a respected college basketball coach who is accused of murdering his mistress. When his wife hires one of his former players and her ex-lover (now a top attorney) to defend her husband, old rivalries and resentments surface on the path to get to the bottom of the crime.
Ehud Bleiberg is producing through his namesake banner, along with Nicholas Donnermeyer, Deege, and Lyons. This is a project that has been kicking around for a while but is now moving forward into production after being jointly acquired. Several directors are being eyed to board the title. Bleiberg will handle the international sales rights.
Last year, in a competitive situation, Paramount Pictures closed a deal for Smith’s script Conquest, a package for a star vehicle that reunites The Revenant star Leonardo DiCaprio with the writer. Smith is also writing Collider for Brit helmer Edgar Wright to direct and J.J. Abrams to produce; Ghost Recon for director Michael Bay; Chain Of Events for Passengers and The Imitation Game director Morten Tyldum; as well as an untitled biker project for Tom Hardy.
“I’m very proud of this script and excited to be working with producers who love and understand the material,” said Smith. “It’s a great fit.”
Bleiberg produced hitman biopic The Iceman, starring Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder and Chris Evans, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival, and additional credits include Paul Schrader’s Adam Resurrected, starring Jeff Goldblum and Williem Dafoe; Olga Kurylenko starrer The Assassin Next Door; and Cannes Film Festival prize winner The Band’s Visit.
Lyons’ credits include Christopher Walen and Naomi Watts starrer Undertaking Betting and The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things with Asia Argento and Michael Pitt, while Deege, a producer and consultant for Glass House Distribution, has worked on titles such as TriStar’s Soul Surfer and Into The Grizzly Maze with Billy Bob Thornton and James Marsden.
Smith is repped by WME, Anonymous Content and Mark Temple.