Par sets 'Diamond' with J.J. Abrams

Wired article tells story of Antwerp heist

J.J. Abrams needs a reliable fence.

Paramount Pictures has purchased film rights to the Wired magazine article "The Untold Story of the World's Biggest Diamond Heist," by Joshua Davis. Writer-producer-director Abrams, through his Bad Robot shingle, will take on the project as a producer and, potentially, as a director.

Production-management outfit Circle of Confusion, which manages Davis, is attached to produce, as well. Davis will be an executive producer. No writer has yet been hired.

The article, which will be published in the April issue of Wired, describes the true story of an unprecedented diamond heist in Antwerp, Belgium, and the crew that pulled it off. In early 2003, a small group of Italian thieves miraculously circumvented 10 layers of security to access a vault beneath the Antwerp Diamond Center and make off with a purported $100 million in diamonds, gold and jewelry (the actual value is still a mystery).

Over six years, Davis scored a series of interviews with the ringleader, incarcerated in a Belgian prison, who finally divulged, in French, just how it was done. Davis acquired the subject's life rights in the process.

Circle of Confusion is in production on "Saint John of Las Vegas" and has the Terry Brooks fantasy novel "Magic Kingdom for Sale" in development.

Abrams, whose "Star Trek" reboot will hit theaters in May, is also producing the Aline Brosh McKenna-penned comedy "Morning Glory" and "Mystery on Fifth Avenue," derived from a New York Times article written by Penelope Green.

CAA reps Davis, whose Wired article "Deep Sea Cowboys" is being spun by David Ayer into a screenplay for a potential DreamWorks film produced by frequent Abrams collaborators Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci.