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Barry Levinson to direct Columbia Pictures’ ‘Brother Jack’

HollywoodNews.com: Academy Award(r)-winning director Barry Levinson is attached to helm the film “Brother Jack” for Columbia Pictures, it was announced today by Doug Belgrad and Matt Tolmach, presidents of Columbia Pictures.

“Brother Jack,” based on the life of human rights activist Jack Healey, is the coming of age story of an idealist who leaves the priesthood for a life on the streets and successfully wages a one man war to elevate the issue of human rights. The screenplay is being written by Harley Peyton, with a current rewrite by Kelly Masterson. The film will be produced by Mosaic and Jack Healey.

Levinson most recently directed and executive produced “You Don’t Know Jack,” a biopic of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, for HBO, which earned 15 Emmy nominations this morning, including Outstanding Made for Television Movie.

Commenting on the announcement, Belgrad said, “Barry Levinson is one of the industry’s most thoughtful, accomplished and acclaimed directors. His work chronicling the life of Dr. Jack Kevorkian was brilliant and we think his take on how one social activist can influence a nation will be equally engaging and compelling.”

Healey is the world-renowned human rights activist and pioneer. An effective and innovative leader in the human rights movement for over 25 years, Healey helped move the topic of human rights from closed-door diplomatic negotiations to widespread awareness, public debate, and direct citizen action. Colleagues credit him with making human rights a major focus of governments, advocacy organization, and individuals around the world.

Called “Mr. Human Rights” by U.S. News and World Report, Healey brought human rights to the global stage by his creative use of media and enlistment of world-class musical talent as advocates and spokespersons as Executive Director of Amnesty International USA for 12 years.

He currently heads the Human Rights Action Network, a non-profit based out of Washington, D.C. Using the arts and new technologies, the organization works creatively to develop new strategies to stop human rights abuses. Healey’s goals include spreading awareness of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, restoring Aung San Suu Kyi to power in Burma, creating innovative, forceful, effective solutions to assist victims in protecting themselves, supporting growing human rights groups all over the world, and creating a fund to get people out of harm’s way in exceptional human rights abuse cases.

“Brother Jack” will be overseen at Columbia by Belgrad and Jonathan Kadin. David Householter will oversee on behalf of Mosaic along with George Gatins. Levinson and Masterson are represented by ICM.

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