Director Rob Cohen and producer Gene Kirkwood are to develop a new action franchise based on the life of Sir Isaac Newton for BiteSize Entertainment.

Cohen (whose next feature Alex Cross is released in October) will write an original screenplay and guide the design of a graphic novel based on the physicist, mathematician and alchemist. The story focuses on the part of Newton’s life when he served as warden of Britain’s Royal Mint.

Kirkwood (best known for Rocky and New York, New York) and producing partner Ross Elliot recently folded their Kirkwood-Elliot Productions banner into BiteSize as the feature film production arm of the new company, launched at Cannes by CEO Ron Bloom.

Said Cohen: “I’ve wanted to work with Gene since we first met when I was at Motown in 1975. He was Interested in Billy Dee Williams to play Apollo Creed in Rocky. That didn’t work out but I never forgot his intense belief in an unknown actor and his brilliant script. He had and still has vision.”

Kirkwood added: “Working with someone of Rob’s creative reach gives us the opportunity to go beyond the traditional concept of a movie franchise and develop a cross platform entertainment franchise from the ground up.”

Among BiteSize’s current film projects are Mad Dogs and Englishmen, about Noel Coward’s time in Las Vegas, and a feature on Rebekah Brooks.