Peacock to adapt 'The Partner'

Grisham novel to big screen courtesy of Chartoff, Velocity

"Nights in Rodanthe" screenwriter Ann Peacock has signed on to adapt John Grisham's 1997 novel "The Partner" for the big screen.

The project, from Oscar-winning producer Bob Chartoff ("Rocky") and newcomer Velocity Management, centers on a disillusioned lawyer who steals $90 million from his law firm, stages his own death and successfully disappears for several years. What at first seems to be a brilliant white-collar crime is further complicated by a murder charge.

Chartoff and Lynn Hendee will produce for Chartoff Prods., while Grant Turck and Mark Bethea will produce for Velocity. Pernille Trojgaard of Buttercookie Prods. put together the initial financing and will executive produce.

Peacock, repped by CAA, also penned "Kit Kittredge: An American Girl" and co-wrote "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe."

Grisham is repped by David Gernert.