J.J. Abrams to produce 'Mystery'

Paramount feature based on a N.Y. Times article

Paramount has purchased a New York Times article, "Mystery on Fifth Avenue," for a feature that J.J. Abrams will produce through his Bad Robot shingle. Writers Maya Forbes and Wally Wolodarsky have been hired to adapt it into a film, with Marc Evans overseeing for the studio.

The Times feature, which ran Thursday and was written by reporter Penelope Green, describes an Upper East Side luxury apartment on Fifth Avenue that the occupants had redesigned to include hidden compartments, messages, puzzles, poems, codes and games for their four preteen kids.

The parents, Steven Klinsky and Maureen Sherry, are Wall Street financial experts and purchased the 4,200-square-foot, 1920s co-op with views of Central Park in 2003 for $8.5 million. Soon after, they hired young architectural designer Eric Clough, who devised an elaborately clever "scavenger hunt" built into the apartment that involved dozens of historical figures, a fictional book and a soundtrack. (Many of the secrets were included without the parents' knowledge, either.)

Forbes and Wolodarsky, repped by ICM (which also handles rights for the Times), have TV comedy backgrounds -- Forbes wrote on "The Larry Sanders Show" and Wolodarsky on "The Simpsons." They most recently wrote the Rainn Wilson comedy "The Rocker," due for release in August from Fox Atomic, and worked on "Monsters vs. Aliens," due for release in March from DreamWorks Animation.

Bad Robot has the rebooted Abrams-directed "Star Trek" taking flight in May and the sci-fi TV series "Fringe," written by Abrams and "Trek" writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, launching in the fall on Fox.