'Journal' from Iraq at Escape Artists


Escape Artists has acquired the life rights to an essayist whose piece was published in January in the New York Times as a producing and potential starring vehicle for Denzel Washington. Jonathan Burnham Schwartz has been tapped to adapt.

The project, "Journal for Jordan," is based on Dana Canedy's essay, which describes a 200-page journal penned by her fiance, 1st Sgt. Charles Monroe King, for their son. The 48-year-old soldier was killed in Baghdad in October, one month shy of finishing his tour of duty. He had left for the Middle East before his son was born. The journal aimed to impart words of wisdom to the son on how to live a proper life and to prepare him for a life without his father.

Crown will release a book based on the journal.

The project is expected to land at Columbia Pictures, where Escape Artists has a first-look deal.

Escape Artists' Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch are producing alongside Washington.

Schwartz adapted the upcoming "Reservation Road," starring Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Ruffalo, from his own novel. He is repped by ICM.

Washington, also repped by ICM, most recently starred in "Deja Vu" and next appears in Universal's "American Gangster."

Canedy is repped by CAA.