Authors craving some of that Hollywood movie money before actually doing what they're paid to do—write books—have two choices: join producer Scott Rudin's stable of Great American Writers (the literary-minded Rudin routinely pays millions for film rights to unwritten works by such heavy hitters as Charles Frazier, Michael Chabon and Richard Price) or write a regular men's magazine column devoted to topics such as bowel movement etiquette in the employee restroom. Augusten Burroughs, the potty-mouthed Details columnist and author of Running with Scissors (St. Martin's, 2002), may not have a Pulitzer yet (as sure as Michael Chabon hasn't offered bathroom tips), but he's managed to join the club in one regard: he's sold the film rights to his next, as-yet-untitled book (St. Martin's, 2007) off of nothing more than a pitch. Burroughs pitched his book, a funny/ sad memoir about his reconciliation with his stunningly abusive father, to four producers. Universal and Red Wagon moved the most aggressively, paying six figures for the option. VinceGerardis of Created By reps Burroughs for film.
Briefs... When Hollywood didn't immediately snap up film rights to Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian last summer after Little, Brown plunked down $2 million for it (see Hollywood Reader, Mar. 7), Kostova's film agent, Sylvie Rabineau of Rabineau Wachter & Sanford, decided to pull the book off the market until after it was published. But when Sony showed up with a $1.75-million offer a month before the book's official June pub date, Rabineau didn't exactly tell them to come back later. Red Wagon, which along with the rest of Hollywood had read the 857-page manuscript last year (at the time of the book deal), will produce for the studio. Another last-minute bid came in after the Sony offer, but Kostova ultimately went with the producers of the upcoming Memoirs of a Geisha and the Sam Mendes—directed Jarhead.