Paramount Pictures has picked up Shia LaBeouf to play the title role in their adaptation of John Grisham’s upcoming legal thriller “The Associate,” which the studio has just acquired rights to.
The novel won’t be published until January 2009, but that hasn’t stopped Paramount from snapping up the rights with Lorenzo di Bonaventura to produce.
LaBeouf will play a student who’s about to graduate from Yale Law School when he’s manipulated into accepting a job at a prestige law firm and given privileged information about a multi-billion dollar lawsuit.
Grisham’s longtime rep, David Gernert, shopped the book by giving it to four producers. While some felt that lessened the book’s chances to find a suitor in a tight marketplace, the strategy worked.
Paramount-based Di Bonaventura, who as an executive worked on the Grisham films “A Time to Kill” and “The Client,” received the book in the Middle East, where he and LaBeouf were shooting “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” There, they agreed to do it together.