We reported way back in December 2008 that Shia LaBeouf was starring in an adaptation of the John Grisham novel The Associate. Now The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Tony Scott is close to making a deal to direct the project.

The site reports that Scott is, "just a step away" from coming aboard the film and, if he joins the project, he will be directing from a script by the Oscar-winning screenwriter of The Departed, William Monahan. LaBeouf is still attached to star, with Lorenzo di Bonaventura producing the film.

The story centers on a young lawyer (LaBeouf) who gets blackmailed into taking a job at a prestigious law firm where his job will be passing off secrets to a mysterious defense contractor. No production schedule was given for the film, but we'll be sure to keep you posted with any further updates on The Associate as soon as we have more information.