Stolen Lives

Identity theft has become a universal nuisance—a fact lost on neither Dana Halter, the heroine of T.C. Boyle's just released Talk Talk (Viking), nor Universal Pictures; the studio has just optioned the novel for feature development. Snapped up for director Gary Fleder—who previously directed film adaptations of James Patterson's Kiss the Girls, Andrew Klavan's Don't Say a Word and John Grisham's Runaway Jury—Boyle's thriller centers on a deaf woman who finds herself trapped in the Citibank commercial from hell, when professional sleazeball William "Peck" Wilson takes over her life. The deal, which includes a five-figure payment and a six-figure purchase price, was negotiated by CAA's Sally Willcox and Matthew Snyder on behalf of Georges Borchardt Inc.'s Anne Borchardt, who reps Boyle for lit.

Inspiration Point

What do Denzel Washington, Barbara Walters and former president George H.W. Bush have in common? Each was a supporter of the late Lou Dantzler, founder of the Challengers Boys & Girls Club in South Central Los Angeles and author of the autobiography A Place to Go, a Place to Grow (Rodale, May). Moved to action by the 1960s Watts riots in L.A., the son of South Carolina sharecroppers created a public organization where neighborhood children could safely play and learn, ultimately helping more than 30,000 youngsters. His story is being shopped around Hollywood by Martin Literary Management's Sharlene Martin, who cites interest from producers and from a "major Hollywood agency interested in 'packaging' the book."

Tomb Raiders

With the J. Paul Getty Museum recently sending two disputed antiquities back to Greece and the Metropolitan Museum of Art's similar return of the Euphronios krater to Italy, antiquities thieves are getting hot in Hollywood. A reported seven studios, including Paramount, Fox and Miramax, are currently circling Gary Van Haas's Ikon, a thriller set in Greece, published in the U.K. in 1999. Jude Law is in discussions to play a man blackmailed into copying a sacred Greek icon and who consequently gets yanked into a world of international intrigue. Eugenie Furness of the William Morris Agency in London reps the novel, and Bresler, Kelly & Associates'Sandy Bresler reps the film.