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'Harry Potter' Scribe Steve Kloves To Write & Direct Legal Thriller 'Defending Jacob'

The Playlist By Joe Cunningham | The Playlist May 15, 2012 at 10:26AM

Steve Kloves served as a screenwriter on seven of the eight 'Harry Potter' movies, so he has experience penning good adaptations (“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”), and not so good adaptations (“Harry Potter and the Philsopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone”). Okay, maybe that’s not the fairest of assessments as the quality of the 'Potter' films seemed to hang on how well the directors interpreted the scripts, which remained consistently decent throughout. Although, perhaps the franchise’s greatest achievement from a screenplay perspective was turning the rather dull fifth book into one of the most enjoyable films in the series…and that was the one script written by Michael Goldenberg. But then he went and wrote (alongside a plethora of hacks) “Green Lantern,” so it’s all relative, we guess.
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Steve Kloves Defending Jacob

Steve Kloves served as a screenwriter on seven of the eight 'Harry Potter' movies, so he has experience penning good adaptations (“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”), and not so good adaptations (“Harry Potter and the Philsopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone”). Okay, maybe that’s not the fairest of assessments as the quality of the 'Potter' films seemed to hang on how well the directors interpreted the scripts, which remained consistently decent throughout. Although, perhaps the franchise’s greatest achievement from a screenplay perspective was turning the rather dull fifth book into one of the most enjoyable films in the series…and that was the one script written by Michael Goldenberg. But then he went and wrote (alongside a plethora of hacks) “Green Lantern,” so it’s all relative, we guess.

Kloves’ other credits include “The Fabulous Baker Boys” (which he also directed) and “The Amazing Spider-Man,” and it looks like Warner Bros. would like to employ his talents on another novel adaptation. WB and Kloves are in talks for him to write and direct an adaptation of William Landay’s legal thriller “Defending Jacob.” The novel follows a District Attorney who must leave his day job to defend his son from a murder charge while uncertain of his son’s innocence. This sounds faintly reminiscent of “The Lincoln Lawyer” to us, which was a pleasant surprise when it hit cinemas last year, so perhas the studio wants to tap into that audience.

The novel has spent five months on the New York Times bestseller list to date, and according to Variety has drawn comparisons to the novels “Presumed Innocent” and “Ordinary People.” The project would mark Kloves’ first directorial effort since 1993’s “Flesh and Bone.” He’ll presumably feel at home writing and directing though, as both of his helming gigs have been based on his own scripts. No word on where this will fall on his slate as WB also recently hired Kloves to write/direct a new live action "The Jungle Book" movie. But either way, it seems they like being in the Kloves business.

This article is related to: Defending Jacob, Steve Kloves


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