Tommy Lee Jones logs "Lincoln"

Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:48pm EDT
 
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By Steven Zeitchik

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Tommy Lee Jones is in negotiations to direct and co-star in "The Lincoln Lawyer," a Matthew McConaughey-starring film based on the 2005 best-seller by Michael Connelly.

"Lawyer," which is set up at Lakeshore Entertainment, centers on Mickey Haller, a wheeler-dealer Los Angeles lawyer who operates out of the back of his Lincoln. Haller is content with a career defending garden-variety criminals until he lands the case of a lifetime: defending a Beverly Hills playboy accused of murder.

McConaughey is on board to play Haller. It's unclear which role Jones would play. The playboy character, which could be the second male lead, is described in the book as somewhat younger than Jones, but the part could be adjusted to accommodate an older interpretation.

John Romano wrote the screenplay.

Jones and McConaughey had breakout roles during the mid-'90s playing characters in the justice system: McConaughey as a young defense attorney in "A Time to Kill" and Jones as U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard in "The Fugitive."

Jones has only one directing credit, the Mexico-set crime drama "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada," which earned critical plaudits and about $5 million for Sony Pictures Classics in 2005. Jones also played the lead in that film, winning the best actor award at the Cannes festival.

Jones next appears in the ensemble unemployment drama "The Company Men," which marks the directorial debut of television producer John Wells. McConaughey next will shoot the border thriller "Southland."

Connelly turns out frequent best-sellers. "Blood Work," based on his novel about an FBI profiler, became a Clint Eastwood movie in 2002.

(Editing by SheriLinden at Reuters)