WB circles 'Others' helmer


"The 28th Amendment," a long-gestating Warner Bros. project about conspiracy and intimidation at the White House, is close to landing a new director.

"The Lives of Others" helmer Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck is in talks to helm the picture, coming on after Neil Jordan had been in discussions to direct. Phillip Noyce was attached but fell off the project.

"Amendment" has been described as "The Firm" set in the White House. Its premise is that for a good part of the 20th century, the president has been the puppet of a small gang that kills anyone who defies its wishes. President Kennedy did so and paid the price, according to one iteration of the script.

Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, writing partners behind the "Transformers" franchise and Paramount's "Star Trek" reboot, wrote the spec on which "Amendment" is based.

"Others," Von Donnersmarck's foreign-language Oscar-winning debut about a group of renegades who defy the East German Stasi, has elements reminiscent of those in "Amendment."

Denzel Washington has long been attached to star in the thriller. Tom Cruise's name also has surfaced several times, which added intrigue because of the actor's success in "The Firm." (partialdiff)