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Zach Helm has been tapped to pen Deep Water, Fox 2000’s adaptation of the 1957 suspense novel by Patricia Highsmith.
Highsmith is best-known for writing thrillers that Hollywood has loved to tackle, including Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley (she also wrote comics before making her name in the 1950s with her books).
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The story centers on an upscale suburban husband who, in order to avoid a divorce, allows his wife to have affairs. When the paramours start disappearing, the quiet marriage and community that surrounds the couple begin to heat up.
The studio is aiming to make a dark, sexy comedy.
Steven Zaillian is producing via his Film Rites banner as is the company’s Garrett Basch. Ben Forkner of Film 360 is also producing. Management 360’s Guymon Casady is exec producing along with Mike Nichols, who was attached to direct at one point. (The project currently has no director.)
Helm broke through as a hot scribe when he penned Stranger Than Fiction, the 2006 Mark Forster movie that starred Will Ferrell. Helm also wrote and directed 2007’s Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium.
He is adapting Freezing People is Easy, Film Rites’ adaptation of the Robert Nelson book We Froze the First Man that has Errol Morris on board to direct and Paul Rudd, Kristen Wiig, Owen Wilson and Christopher Walken attached to star.
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