HBO Films hooks up Dr. Death


Al Pacino is in negotiations to star in "You Don't Know Jack," an HBO Films biopic about Jack Kevorkian that Barry Levinson will direct.

Kevorkian, also known as Dr. Death, assisted in more than 130 suicides and beat the state court system in Michigan numerous times. He was finally convicted after he willingly sent a videotape of himself euthanizing a terminally ill man to "60 Minutes." He was convicted in 1999 of second-degree murder and was paroled from a Michigan maximum-security prison in 2007.

The film will trace his rise as he builds his infamous Mercy Machine, conducts his first assisted suicide and starts a media frenzy with his epic legal battles defending a patient's right to die.

Adam Mazer ("Breach") wrote the script, which is loosely based on Neal Nicol and Harry Wylie's "Between the Dying and the Dead: Dr. Jack Kevorkian's Life and the Battle to Legalize Euthanasia."

Levinson is exec producing with Steven L. Jones, Lydia Dean Pilcher and Glenn Rigberg.

The project has been in development for some time, with Ben Kingsley once attached to play Kevorkian.

Levinson, repped by ICM, most recently directed "What Just Happened." CAA-repped Pacino's most recent outing was "Righteous Kill." (partialdiff)