Fox 2000 has won a competitive bidding process for the rights to bestselling novel Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. Francis Lawrence is attached to direct, and Richard LaGravenese is writing the adaptation. The Hollywood Reporter reports that "Fox 2000 beat out Warner Bros., Universal and Paramount for the project, in part because the producing team and director were won over by the company's passion and track record with literary adaptations and the attention it gives them."
Publisher's Weekly also reported this morning that New Regency, the indie film studio with a distribution pact with FOX, has hired a dedicated staffer to cover the book world in New York. Michelle Kroes has been named director of feature and literary development, New Regency's first dedicated lit scout. Regency chairmen Robert Harper and Hutch Parker hope the expansion and added focus on books will bring in better quality material and talent, making them more competitive in this tough economic time. "Books have long served as the basis for some of the most endearing and noteworthy films of all time," they said.
Literary maven and blogger Maud Newton recently compiled this list of novels and stories that should be made into movies. On the heels of No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood, books suddenly seem all the rage - as movies. Guillermo del Toro has recently signed on with Universal to some high-profile literary projects, including Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five. For those of us who love books, these films can be both exciting and scary. I couldn't bring myself to see Love in the Time of Cholera, since I love the book way too much, though I am a little bit excited about The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
To see how much you know about literary film adaptions, check out this quiz from The Guardian.