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Todd Phillips’ ‘Trust Your Eyes’ and Anne Frank Biopic Nab Writers

Written by on November 30, 2012 

For the first time in over a decade of directing movies, Todd Phillips surprised us with news of a project. After (finally) wrapping up his Hangover trilogy, one of Hollywood’s modern raunch kings is going after Trust Your Eyes, a piece of material more like Hitchcock than Apatow — and Warner Bros. are putting their support behind him. After raking in so much finance with a few dirty comedies, he’s earned that one.

As now reported by Deadline, the Linwood Barclay novel is getting screenplay treatment from new studio favorite Peter O’Brien, (re)writer on the action film Line of Sight, and a Black List spec script titled Unlocked. (Work on a Robert Ludlum adaptation for Marc Forster — and, at one point, Leonardo DiCaprio — has been around for almost three years. Should their wording be any indication, that’s still on the table.) Considering how schedules on these projects appear to be shaking out, Trust Your Eyes might be the first work of his to reach theaters. Not a bad start at all.

Here’s a synopsis of the novel (via Amazon):

Thomas Kilbride is a map-obsessed schizophrenic so affected that he rarely leaves the self-imposed bastion of his bedroom. But with a computer program called Whirl360.com, he travels the world while never so much as stepping out the door. He pores over and memorizes the streets of the world. He examines every address, as well as the people who are frozen in time on his computer screen.

Then he sees something that anyone else might have stumbled upon—but has not—in a street view of downtown New York City: an image in a window. An image that looks like a woman being murdered.

Thomas’s brother, Ray, takes care of him, cooking for him, dealing with the outside world on his behalf, and listening to his intricate and increasingly paranoid theories. When Thomas tells Ray what he has seen, Ray humors him with a half-hearted investigation. But Ray soon realizes he and his brother have stumbled onto a deadly conspiracy.

And now they are in the crosshairs…

Under 99% of any possible circumstances, to combine Todd Phillips and Anne Frank might be a little wrongheaded — since this news story is about screenwriters, we should be okay. The legendary Holocaust figure won’t get a treatment akin to something by the director, thank God, but a more traditional biopic THR tells us is getting words by way of Fred Breinersdorfer, Oscar-nominated writer behind 2005’s Nazi drama Sophie Scholl: The Final Days.

He’ll be working with the original diary, of course, along with a group of historical documents which, together, will “tell Frank’s whole story, both before and after her time in hiding.” Cinema’s never been given a truly definitive account of her ordeal — unless you really enjoy the George Stevens movie from 1959 — so, for that reason alone would this success be worth something.

German companies Spectrum and Zeitsprung Pictures are working with Anne Frank Fonds to get shooting underway in 2013.

Is Trust Your Eyes a movie that’s been making the right moves up to now? Is an Anne Frank-centered movie something to desire?

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