New 'Julius' for Mandalay

Gary Gray attached to direct modern re-imagining

Friends, execs, agents: Mandalay Pictures wants you to lend it your ears.

The company has picked up the film rights to "Julius," a modern re-imagining of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" from Oni Press. F. Gary Gray is attached to direct.

The graphic novel, written by Antony Johnston and illustrated by Brett Weldele, follows Julius, a London crime king who is beloved like royalty by the public. His generals, however, conspire against him.

Mandalay will produce. Eric Gitter of Closed on Mondays Entertainment, the producing arm of Oni Press, also will produce, and Oni's Peter Schwerin and Joe Nozemack will executive produce.

Mandalay president Cathy Schulman and exec vps David Zelon and Jonathan Krauss will oversee for Mandalay.

Oni has been on a tear in the past year, setting up numerous projects around town. It is ramping up production on its first project, "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," which has Edgar Wright directing and Michael Cera starring.

Mandalay is developing a remake of "The Birds" with Platinum Dunes, Martin Campbell and Naomi Watts as well as Focus Features' "The Piano Tuner" with writer-director Werner Herzog.

Gray, repped by WMA and Management 360, directed "The Italian Job" and "The Negotiator."