Gold Circle and Thunder Road Films have hired Stephen Herek towrite and direct the true-life drama Einstein's Children.

Based on Mike Kersjes' memoir A Smile As Big As The Moon, Einstein's Children tells of a sports coach and special needsteacher who fights to take his students to NASA Space Camp.

"We're all excited that Stephen Herek is going back to his MrHolland's Opus roots andmaking an inspirational film for all audiences," Thunder Road principalBasil Iwanyk said. "What we love about Einstein's Children is it's essentially a sports movie, butwithout the sports."

Gold Circle's Paul Brooks will produce along with Iwanyk,and Gold Circle's Scott Niemeyer and Norm Waitt will serve as executiveproducers.

Zak Kadison, who brought the project to Gold Circle, will shepherdit through production and serve as co-producer. Thunder Road's Mary Violabrought the project to Kadison and will also co-produce with Kersjes.

"This is a compelling story with tremendous heart, and webelieve that Stephen will deliver an emotional experience for a broadaudience," Brooks said.

Herek's writing credits include Mr Holland's Opus, Life OrSomething Like It, Rockstar, and 101 Dalmations. He is represented by David Saunders at APA and managed by RossFineman.

Gold Circle is currently in production on White Noise 2, starring Nathan Fillion and KateeSackoff. In post production are Whisper starring Josh Holloway, and Because I Said So, which stars Diane Keaton and MandyMoore. All three will be released through Universal Pictures.

Thunder Road iscurrently in production on We Are Marshall, starring Matthew McConaughey and Matthew Fox, which willbe distributed through Warner Bros.