Mystic River Meets Mystic Pizza

When the world's #1 female movie star wants to produce a big studio movie based on your manuscript, and the lead character just happens to be perfect for her, well, let's just say it wasn't one of Cammie McGovern's more difficult decisions. Julia Roberts, whose films have grossed a collective $4 billion worldwide, has just closed a deal with Revolution for McGovern's Eye Contact (Viking, Feb.). Janklow & Nesbit's Eric Simonoff described McGovern's second novel as "a sort of distaff Mystic River": when a severely autistic boy witnesses a girl's gruesome murder, his single mother teams up with a troubled local boy suspected of committing the killing to help lure the truth out of her withdrawn child. McGovern (the younger sister of actress Elizabeth) has an autistic son. A portion of the proceeds for the film deal will be donated to a Massachusetts after-school program for special-needs children founded by McGovern. CAA's Sally Willcox co-agented.

Baja Blues

Take a lower-middle class The O.C., throw in Endless Summer, mix it up with some Y tu mamá también,and what do you get? In the Break, a first YA novel by surfer-author Jack Lopez and very likely the next YA title to land a sweet studio film deal. The day after Holly Frederick submitted Lopez's manuscript, the Curtis Brown agent came in to calls from antsy producers jockeying for studio territories. It's not hard to see why, as a source said Lopez hits all of the "love, loss and friendship" notes required for teen classics such as The Outsiders and Stand by Me. In the novel, three California teens, two white, the other Latino-American, flee to Mexico after one of them commits a crime in self-defense. As they travel south on the Baja Peninsula in search of the perfect wave, they can't escape the knowledge that reality will catch up to them. Little, Brown will publish Break in July 2006. Curtis Brown's Nathan Bransford reps Lopez for lit.

An Efficient Executive

In what must be a Gotham record, DreamWorks's Sara Roby has set up her first project, a scant two weeks after her promotion to head of the studio's New York office. Roby brought in Jennifer Weiner's The Guy Not Taken, a short story by the Hollywood favorite appearing in the October issue of Glamour. The tale treads familiar Weiner territory of real women dealing with real issues, but adds a fairy tale twist: a woman obsessed with her engaged ex-boyfriend stumbles across his online bridal registration; she wakes up next to him the following morning with an engagement ring on her finger and discovers that her wish-come-true isn't all that it seems. The project will be produced by Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald. Weiner's fourth novel, Goodnight Nobody (Atria), hit stores September 20. Jake Weiner of BenderSpink Management co-agented.