Columbia Pictures has pre-emptively bought The Long Run, a spec by screenwriter Stephen Belber, says The Hollywood Reporter. Will Smith will produce via his Overbrook production company.
Also producing are Overbrook’s James Lassiter and Ken Stovitz. Smith is not attached to star.
The script centers on a journalist who helps exonerate a highly charismatic death row inmate of a crime he didn’t commit. When the former inmate is recruited to run for elected office, the journalist leaves his post to orchestrate his rise to political prominence but soon faces a crisis of conscience as he discovers that his friend might be guilty of murder after all.
Playwright Belber wrote the script before directing his feature debut, the Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy Management, which he directed during the strike.