Trio focused on 'Black Out'

To adapt novelist Lisa Unger's new thriller

NEW YORK -- Longtime Martin Scorsese producer Barbara De Fina, Austin Chick and Andrew Kletjian have optioned Lisa Unger's new Random House thriller "Black Out."

Chick, who also has optioned Tim Clark's art forgery caper script "Fake," will adapt and direct both for the big screen.

"Black Out" centers on Annie Powers, an affluent wife and mother living in Florida. Cracks in her idyllic life emerge when her psychologist is murdered and a familiar dark figure appears, triggering long-suppressed memories of a former life she must piece together to save herself and her daughter.

The WMA-repped Chick, a co-producer and uncredited writer on Sidney Lumet's "Before the Devil Knows Your Dead," helmed "XX/YY" and this summer's Josh Hartnett drama "August." He recently signed to write and direct an untitled Hamptons-based thriller for Sony's Screen Gems in the spring.

"I've been wanting to do a character-driven thriller since ('Devil')," said Chick, citing the appeal of the strong female lead. "Lisa's book is about the character's psychological journey -- it initially seems to be about one thing but gets more complex as you peel away the layers of the story."

After years producing such Scorsese hits as "The Color of Money," "The Age of Innocence" and "Casino," De Fina is focusing on the indie arena with such films as "You Can Count on Me" and this week's Toronto premiere "Lymelife," starring Alec Baldwin.

De Fina and Position Management founder Kletjian also are attached to produce Bryan Wizemann's drama "An Entire Body." He has several productions in development, including "Co-Op of the Damned," a comedy with Pam Grier and his co-writer Paul Mooney attached to star.

Random House imprint Shaye Areheart Books published two of Unger's recent New York Times best-sellers, the thrillers "Beautiful Lies" and "Sliver of Truth," before releasing "Black Out" in May.

Brendan Deneen of Objective Entertainment brokered the deal for Unger on behalf of her literary rep, the Elaine Markson Agency.