Paramount to tell Linda Trest story

Anthony Walton, Andrew Dresher to pen script

Paramount is getting behind the power of the press.

The Melrose studio has picked up the life rights of Missouri journalist Linda Trest, who helped break open the cover of a drug-busting con man. Screenwriters Anthony Walton and Andrew Dresher have been brought on board to script a film inspired by her story.

Brad Pitt’s Plan B is producing with “Troy” writer David Benioff.

The 51-year-old Trest was a reporter for the Gasconade County Republican in Gerald, Mo., when she began hearing stories about a federal agent nicknamed “Sergeant Bill” who was rousting people from their homes. Since Gerald had been ravaged by methamphetamine abuse, local law enforcement was happy to assist the fed’s efforts to clean up the town with arrests, home searches and investigations.

The only hitch: Bill A. Jakob turned out to be just an unemployed cop and former trucking company owner from a different town with no actual law enforcement credentials. Trest eventually exposed Jakob’s bizarre con.

As a writer, Benioff, repped by CAA and Management 360, has “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” releasing from Fox in May and the Jim Sheridan-directed remake “Brothers” releasing from MGM next year. He last wrote the screenplay for “The Kite Runner.”

CAA-repped Plan B has many projects in development at its home studio of Paramount, including “Eat, Pray, Love,” based on the best-selling novel, with Ryan Murphy directing; “The Killer” and “Black Hole,” both to be directed by David Fincher; and the adventure film “Lost City of Z.” Its next releases are “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” “The Tree of Life” and “The Private Lives of Pippa Lee.”

Walton and Dresher, who are repped by ICM and Management 360, have their script “How to Love a Republican” in development at Universal with Benioff, Graham Larson and Reveille producing.
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