Another John DeLorean film revving up
EXCLUSIVE: 'You Don't Know Jack' writer finalizing scriptAdam Mazer, hot off his Emmy win for writing the HBO telefilm "You Don't Know Jack," is getting in the fast lane for an authorized biopic about John DeLorean, the controversial automobile mogul whose life was as colorful as his career.
Mazer is in the final stages of writing the DeLorean script for Steve Lee Jones, who served as executive producer of the $18 million production of "You Don't Know Jack," the story of Dr. Jack Kevorkian that starred Al Pacino.
After "DeLorean," Mazer also is attached to write "Rube," a real-life tale about the roots of the porn biz, and "Contingency," about lawyers in the 1970s and '80s who were among the first to advertise. Both projects also are produced by Jones.
Jones said he and Mazer share an interest in projects that tell realistic stories on subjects that are socially relevant. "We believe in trying to tell the tale as truthfully as possible," said Jones, who gave up business interests in South Florida to come to L.A. and get into movies.
"Jack" was Mazer's second produced script after Universal pic "Breach" (2007), another fact-based story.
While there are other projects around about the late DeLorean -- including one produced by CAA agent-turned-producer Michael Menchel and another produced by Brett Ratner's company -- Jones said his original story is the only one based on rights from many key players.
He has acquired rights from DeLorean's last wife Sally, his younger brother Charles, his former assistant and the DeLorean estate and has signed consulting agreements with several lawyers who repped the auto mogul.
"This is an epic tale that has every element of a major studio film," Jones said. "[DeLorean] traveled the world, dated starlets, held 78 patents and of course was involved in huge legal battles. It is a big story."
Jones is partnered on "DeLorean" with veteran producer David Permut, who is working on other projects with Jones as well.
"Contingency," still in an early stage, is based on characters Jones knew growing up in Baltimore, where he hopes to shoot the picture. He said it centers on less-than-successful attorneys who became rich and famous after the Supreme Court allowed lawyers to advertise.
"It is the story of what happened to the American legal system," Jones said, "and has an 'Erin Brockovich' element."
"Rube," also at the starting line, will be based on the late Reuben Sturman, who in the 1950s began selling "girlie magazines" in Ohio, imported porn from Europe and brought peep shows to America. Despite legal challenges, he became a billionaire in the 1970s but got into business with the Gotti mob in New York, ended up in jail and died penniless.
Jones acquired life rights from Sturman's son.
Jones believes all three projects have theatrical potential. The first step is developing pitches or scripts with Mazer, then attaching directors before seeking financing and distribution.