Warners Picks Up 'Defending Jacob' With Mary Parent to Produce

William Landay's debut legal thriller novel was published in February.

Warner Bros. has picked up screen rights to Defending Jacob, a legal thriller by William Landay. Mary Parent and her Disruption Entertainment banner are attached to produce.

Jacob is the debut novel by Landay, a former lawyer. The book's February publication was accompanied by great buzz and reviews that compared the author to Scott Turow, the lawyer-turned-legal thriller author behind such best-sellers as Presumed Innocent and The Burdon of Proof.

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Jacob tells the tale of a district attorney whose 14-year-old son is accused of killing a classmate. As the story progresses, the man’s marriage begins to implode, he is forced to confront his own family secrets, and he has to figure out how far he will go to protect his son, who may or may not be innocent.

The book debuted no. 4 on the New York Times bestsellers list for hardcover fiction and has been sold to 19 foreign territories.

Lynn Harris overseeing for Warners.

Parent is a producer on Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim and on Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, which is active development at Paramount and New Regency.   

Landay is repped by Hotchkiss & Associates.