Debora Cahn will adapt “Coronado High” for Columbia, which Clooney is producing with his Smokehouse partner Grant Heslov.

Debora Cahn, who was a longtime writer/consulting producer on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, has been tapped to pen Coronado High for Columbia Pictures.

George Clooney and Grant Heslov are producing via their Smokehouse banner, as is David Klawans.

Coronado High is based on an article byJoshua Bearman, the same journalist whose article for Wired became the basis for the Oscar-winning movie Argo (which Clooney and Heslov produced with Ben Affleck).

Bearman’s Coronado piece, first published on the Atavist, told of how starting in 1969, a hippie teacher in the sleepy naval beach town of Coronado, Calif., and some high school students came up with the idea of smuggling pot from Mexico via swimming and paddling surfboards. Out of that rose a 1970s criminal empire, one that was eventually taken down by the DEA.   

Cahn started her screenwriting career as a staff scribe on The West Wing, even winning a WGA award. She wrote The Special Program, which was near the top of last year’s Black List. The feature script was an adaptation of Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency by Washington Post investigative reporter Barton Gellman.

Cahn, who is repped by CAA (and also reps Atavist) and Hansen Jacobson, also did a production rewrite on Too Big to Fail for HBO and director Curtis Hanson.


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