Despite the historical popularity of John Grisham adaptations, it would appear that his 2009 tome The Associate is proving a tough nut for filmmakers to crack. Divergent producers Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher are hoping that Zac Efron is the man who can help push it on to screens.
The plot follows a Yale Law School graduate (Efron, who will produce and star if the project actually comes to fruition) who is blackmailed by a group of criminals. He’s forced into taking a job at the world’s largest law firm – which would seem to be a dream gig for most new graduates – but it’s all in order for him to spy on their work as part of a dispute between two powerful defence contractors. As you might be able to figure out, he’s soon in even more danger than he started.
This one has been on Hollywood’s radar since before Grisham’s book even hit the shelves: directors such as Adrian Lyne, William Monahan and Tony Scott have considered calling the shots, and Shia LaBeouf was in line for the lead back before he decided to “retire” to spend more time with a paper bag on his noggin.
There’s no director or even a writer attached currently, so Efron and his partners’ next step will be to lock in those key creative positions before approaching a studio with the whole deal. Efron’s next acting job, opposite Seth Rogen in frat comedy Bad Neighbours, hits our screens on May 9.