This week in Page to Screen--PW's weekly column tracking film rights circulating and sold in Hollywood--Richard Russo hits the circuit and a St. Louis dog whisperer looks to get an extended 15 minutes.
Joel Gotler at Intellectual Property Group is shopping film rights to Richard Russo's forthcoming novel, That Old Cape Magic, which Knopf is publishing in August. The book, a shorter-than-usual effort from Russo, at just over 300 pages, is about love and coming to terms with the past, according to Judith Weber, whose agency, Sobel Weber, sold the book. (Nat Sobel handled the deal.) Weber said the novel, which begins with one wedding on the Cape and ends with another in coastal Maine, is "very much a love story" and a "great summer read." As for the film prospects, although literary fiction is never the easiest sell in Hollywood, Russo is no stranger to Tinseltown. Not only has he penned a handful of original screenplays--including the 2005 John Cusack starrer The Ice Harvest--but he also wrote the screenplays for the film adaptations of his novels Nobody's Fool and Empire Falls. Additionally, an adaptation of his novel The Risk Pool is in development at Castle Rock.
On the sales front, the Castiglia Literary Agency has closed a deal for the film rights to Melinda Roth's The Man Who Talks to Dogs. The book follows Randy Grim, who started the Stray Rescue of St. Louis, and rehabilitated thousands of canines and found them homes. Man, which focuses as much on the dogs as on Grim, was optioned by ShadowCatcher Entertainment (The Skeleton Key) with producer Norman Stephens and screenwriter Richard Friedenberg (A River Runs Through It) attached.