Summer of Fear
If director David Fincher's upcoming Zodiac—adapted from Robert Graysmith's 1986 novel—doesn't sate audiences' appetites for grisly thrillers about real-life San Francisco serial killers in the 1970s, movie-goers are in luck. Jeremy Kleiner of Plan B, aka Brad Pitt's production company, has just optioned the film rights to Arcade's fall release, The Zebra Murders: A Season of Killing, Racial Madness, and Civil Rights. Co-written by the first African-American (and now retired) SFPD chief of police, Prentice Earl Sanders, and screenwriter Bennett Cohen, the nonfiction account chronicles the racially motivated murders that divided the city during the winter of 1973—1974. As one of the officers working the case, Sanders was in the doubly unique position of having just sued the SFPD for discrimination. The deal was negotiated on Sanders's behalf by Kaye & Mills's Jessica Kaye and Kevin Mills.
Power of Three
Director Dylan Kidd (Roger Dodger; P.S.) is gearing up for his third collaboration with independent producer Anne Chaisson. Kidd's production company, Dirty Rice, has just optioned the rights to David Goodwillie's memoir, Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time, coming from Algonquin next month. Goodwillie describes life as a New Yorker in the late 1990s and as a serial career hopper, including an unsuccessful Cincinnati Reds tryout and PI work. Kidd will both direct and coadapt the script with Goodwillie. The preemptive deal was negotiated by Sarah Selfat the Gersh Agency on behalf of Kate Garrick at DeFiore and Company, with CAA and Andrew Hurwitz on behalf of the filmmakers.
Dimension Films has acquired the rights to Mara Leveritt's Devil's Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three (Atria, 2002), which details the controversial trial and verdict that followed the murder and mutilation of three eight-year-old boys in West Memphis, Ark., in 1993. Scott Derrickson and Paul Harris Boardman (The Exorcism of Emily Rose) will write the screenplay; Derrickson will also direct.... Lionsgate snapped up the rights to prolific erotica writer Zane's Addicted (forthcoming from Atria), about a successful African-American woman whose affairs threaten her marriage. A play based on the novel is also expected to open in the fall.