'Stranger Than Fiction' Writer Tapped to Write 'The Mercenary' for Fox (Exclusive)

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Zach Helm

Mike Ireland is overseeing the project for Fox.

Zach Helm, who wrote the Will Ferrell movie Stranger Than Fiction, has signed on to pen The Mercenary, a true-life thriller for 20th Century Fox, Chernin Entertainment and Epic.

Helm is adapting an article written by journalist Joshua Davis, who with Joshuah Bearman formed Epic, a production company geared towards finding screen stories from journalistic works that the duo, among others, create. The company, which has a first-look deal with Fox, is producing with Chernin.

Davis’ true story follows an American mercenary brought to the Peruvian Andes to recover stolen gold, where he balances a burgeoning romance with his translator-turned-partner, a female cop, and a deepening web of conspiracy and intrigue.

Mike Ireland is overseeing the project for Fox.

Helm broke through with his script for Fiction, which became a 2006 Marc Forster-helmed movie that starred Ferrell. He then wrote and directed 2007's Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, which starred Dustin Hoffman and Natalie Portman. Helm also worked on the erotic thriller Deep Water and a draft of the Jumanji remake.

He is repped by CAA, Gotham Group and David Matlof at Hirsch Wallerstein.