The slick halls of TV's Law & Order have nothing on the grim corridors of Steve Bogira's Courtroom 302: A Year Behind the Scenes in an American Criminal Courthouse (Knopf, 2005). Painting a riveting portrait of life at Chicago's busy Cook County Criminal Courthouse, the Windy City journalist reveals a harsh lifestyle more Oz than Kander & Ebb, as he interviews and gains the trust of a host of judges, juries, defendants, guards and other court personnel. HBO has just optioned rights to the book with the intent to turn it into a limited dramatic narrative series. Tom Fontana and Jim Yoshimura, of television's Homicide, will produce and Bogira will remain a consultant for the show. Bogira is repped by David Black for lit and Lucy Stille of Paradigm for film.
Death Takes a Holiday
Maddy Banks, the heroine of Lynn Isenberg's The Funeral Planner (Red Dress Ink, 2005), leaves her best friend's burial forlorn—but with a solid business plan. In a carpe diem moment, she comes up with the idea for Lights Out, a company that enables its clients to plan their own funerals before they go. In an equally enterprising move, Lifetime Television has optioned the rights to Isenberg's book to develop into a television series. As part of the deal, the author will also write the pilot and act as co-executive producer. Isenberg is repped by Irene Goodman at the Irene Goodman Agency for lit and Lucy Stille of Paradigm for film.
Baby, Hugh Can Drive Your Car
Hugh Jackman may be taking a last stand this summer as Wolverine in the third X-Men movie, but he'll be seated and revving up a storm in an adaptation of James Sallis's neo-noir Drive (Poisoned Pen Press, 2005). Along with Marc Platt (Legally Blonde), he and his partner John Palermo will be producing the tale of an unnamed Hollywood stunt driver who moonlights as a heist getaway man, which was recently optioned by Universal Studios for the film trio. Steven Fisher of APA negotiated the deal on behalf of the Vicky Bijur Literary Agency's Vicky Bijur, who reps Sallis for lit.