Gone to the Dogs?

Though the concept of a hit man becoming the hit is hardly new, Kevin Wignall spiced up the formula in his For the Dogs (S&S, 2004) by inserting a twisty-turny relationship between his amoral protagonist and the college age student he's hired to protect. Stone Village Pictures recently optioned the title with a production team already attached—including writer Kathleen McLaughlin (who wrote the screenplay for the upcoming Phillip Noyce's The Bielski Brothers, based on the book by Peter Duffy [HarperCollins, 2003]) and producer Lucas Foster (Mr. & Mrs. Smith). The story of an ex-assassin who's drafted to guard an old pal's daughter, only to wind up helping her avenge the massacre of her family, smacks of 1994's The Professionaland seems like an ideal project for an intellectual Jean Reno/Natalie Portman—type pairing. Thedeal was negotiated by Justin Manask at Intellectual Property Group, acting in conjunction with Curtis Brown in London and Deborah Schneider of Gelfman Schneider Literary Agents in New York.

Merry Makeover

A dowdy divorcee ready to shed some serious baggage, Alice Green, the 44-year-old protagonist of Pamela Redmond Satran's Younger (Downtown Press, 2005) was born to be a Lifetime heroine—the female-centric cable network has optioned the rights to develop Alice's adventures as a television series. Set to be produced by Debra Martin Chase (executive-producer of the Lifetime series Missing), the adaptation will revolve around Alice's transformation from a hausfrau to reinvigorated publishing maven, complete with a 20-something lover. CAA's Shari Smiley negotiated the deal on behalf of Deborah Schneider of Gelfman Schneider.


Let the wild rumpus start! Warner Bros. has acquired Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are out of turnaround from Universal, and Spike Jonze (Adaptation.) is set to direct. Jonze and novelist Dave Eggers adapted the classic and dreamed up a live-action—cum—CGI-effect—laden extravaganza, likely to begin production later this year. Playtone's Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman are producing, along with Sendak and John Carls.... Now that Walden Media and Disney's The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe has surpassed expectations, grossing more than $530 million worldwide (after five weeks), plans for a sequel, based on C.S. Lewis's Prince Caspian, are reportedly underway. with Christmas 2007 as a possible release date.