William Monahan Is LaBeouf's Associate

Screenwriter to adapt John Grisham novel

We’re always a little wary when we hear the words ‘John’, ‘Grisham’ and ‘adaptation’, but we feel we can breathe a little easier about the planned movie version of Grisham’s latest novel, The Associate, after it was today announced that ace screenwriter William Monahan has come on board as writer.

Monahan – Ridley Scott’s go-to guy, who also won an Oscar in 2007 for Martin Scorsese’s The Departed – will be putting words into the mouth of Shia LaBeouf, who will take the title role of Kyle McAvoy, a brilliant young lawyer with the world at his feet.

But when an unscrupulous law firm gets wind of a dark secret from his college days, they blackmail Kyle into working for them… work which includes becoming involved in unlawful, and highly dangerous, activity.

If you’re thinking that sounds like a revamped version of The Firm, then you’re right. The comparisons would seem to be deliberate, with the advertising for the new novel (published in January) invoking The Firm as a touchstone. Given that the Tom Cruise thriller is the most successful Grisham movie to date, it may not be a bad comparison to make.

Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who, along with LaBeouf, read the book in galley form while they were shooting Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen, will produce. There’s no word on a director or a start date, but expect things to move pretty quickly. After all, Monahan only has a couple of months to write the script; he’ll soon be too busy prepping his directorial debut, London Boulevard, which starts shooting in June.