Sounds like some Hollywood agents were working over the holiday weekend. A couple of pieces of casting news have emerged today, and now that we're all emerging from our tryptophan hangovers we can get back to business, too. First up, Shia LaBeouf has signed on to star in the film adaptation of the new John Grisham thriller The Associate for Paramount. The novel, which will be published in January by Random House, tells the story of a Yale Law student (LaBeouf) who is manipulated into accepting a job at a prestigious law firm and given privileged information about a multi-billion dollar lawsuit. Being a Grisham novel, one would assume for nefarious purposes and with lots of running. The film will be produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who got the book while shooting the Transformers sequel with LaBeouf in the Middle East, and who, I feel I must note, produced both A Time to Kill and The Client, two movies I will watch whenever they are on TV, at any time.
No, the lawyer-turned-novelist isn't starting up a chain of Papa John Grisham's Pizzas. (Although that might be pretty fun. His slogan could be "Pies so good they should be illegal!" and then he'd give you "pro bono" breadsticks with every order of a large pepperoni.) The real news is that Phoenix Pictures has just acquired the movie rights to Grisham's novel, Playing For Pizza. Mike Medavoy, Arnie Messer and David Thwaites of Phoenix Pictures will produce.