"Monster" pair try on genes

Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:21pm EDT

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NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - The producer and cinematographer of "Monster" are taking on another female-themed drama.

Clark Peterson, who produced the Charlize Theron-starring Oscar winner, and Steven Bernstein, who served as its cameraman, will collaborate on "Decoding Annie Parker," a story of the discovery of the breast-cancer gene. Peterson will produce and Bernstein will make his directorial debut.

The movie centers on Parker, a real-life breast-cancer patient who believed her illness had a genetic component, and it weaves in the story of the researchers whose mission it was to determine the role DNA plays in the deadly disease.

Doctors dismissed Parker's beliefs, but she was ahead of her time: The group's research eventually led to the discovery of BRCA1, which is associated with breast and ovarian cancer.

Screenwriter Michael Moss, a doctor who knew of Parker's story from medical circles, is writing the screenplay.

The casting process has begun, and the filmmakers aim to shoot this year.

Peterson, who made his name on the 2003 hit "Monster," recently wrapped "Dear Mr. Gacy," a story about a real-life college student who became obsessed with notorious serial killer John Wayne Gacy. The picture is expected to make the rounds at film festivals in the fall.

Bernstein's cinematography credits include "Like Water for Chocolate," "Scary Movie 2" and "White Chicks."

(Editing by Dean Gooodman at Reuters)

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