The Zenith Man: According to The Hollywood Reporter, New Line Cinema has acquired The Zenith Man, a pitch about a true-life murder case from writer Mark Bailey. It is the first acquisition for New Line Prods. exec vp and chief operating officer Mark Ordesky since The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which he oversaw and executive produced, won the Oscar for best picture.

"Zenith" centers on McCracken Poston, a lawyer in small-town Ringgold, Ga., who in 1997 was recovering from a failed run at Congress and a failed marriage. At the same time, Alvin Ridley, the town recluse, was charged with the murder of his wife, who had not left the inside of their home for 30 years. Poston agreed to defend Ridley, who was being vilified by the small town and media.

Brian B.