Gus van Sant feels 'Restless'

'Milk' helmer in negotiations with Columbia

Gus van Sant is in negotiations with Columbia to develop and direct "Restless," an original screenplay by first-time screenwriter Jason Lew.

Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Bryce Howard will produce for Imagine Entertainment.

The logline is being kept under wraps, though it is described as contemporary and distinctive take on young love.

Lew and Bryce Howard attended New York University together and it was there that Lew first wrote the story as a play. Howard, who had acted in plays with Lew, got a peek at the story and encouraged him to write it as a screenplay.

After several drafts and a "gestation period," Bryce Howard brought it to her father Ron who, taken with Lew's perspective and originality, wanted to further develop it for Imagine. Lew kept on working on the screenplay with Imagine execs, who ultimately showed it to Van Sant. Grazer was looking to reteam with his friend, with whom he worked on the Imagine-produced "Psycho" remake.

Columbia's Doug Belgrad and Andrea Giannetti responded to the originality and raw emotion of the story and pounced on it. Giannetti will oversee for the studio, which aims to move fast on "Restless." The intent is to shoot the movie in Oregon for around $15 million.

WME-repped Van Sant last directed "Milk."