From the producer of Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector and Delta Farce comes... a noir mystery set in New Orleans featuring an African-American detective sometimes compared to James Lee Burke's character Dave Robicheaux. That's next in the cards for producer-manager J.P. Williams, the Parallel Entertainment impresario behind The Blue Collar Comedy Tour. Williams has optioned the six novels in James Sallis's Lew Griffin detective series (Walker & Co.) for what APA's Steve Fisher calls a “good six-figure deal.” The deal represents the second substantial Hollywood payout for Sallis: last year Fisher and lit agent Vicky Bijur struck a nice deal for Sallis's stand-alone novel Drive (Poisoned Pen, 2005), optioned by Universal for Legally Blonde and Wicked producer Marc Platt and Hugh Jackman's Seed Productions (Jackman will also star).

The Year of Creech

Having procured an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of Olive, the smallest member of Little Miss Sunshine's dysfunctional Hoover family, Abigail Breslin sets her sights on another unusual family, orphaned brother and sister Dallas and Florida in Sharon Creech's Carnegie Medal—winner Ruby Holler (Joanna Cotler, 2002). The precocious 11-year-old has optioned Creech's children's novel about siblings who endure one horrible foster home after another, until a kindhearted older couple saves them. Creech is on a bit of a roll of late: Ruby marks the third film deal this year for her. Amy Berkower and co-agent Kassie Evashevski of UTA, formerly of BGE, recently closed two deals for Creech's backlist: Bloomability (Cotler, 1998) to Teri Hatcher and Walk Two Moons (Cotler, 1994) to production company Rocket Dreams.

Munro's Movie Tie-in

Those seeking a respite from the green ogres, swashbuckling pirates and web-slinging superheroes of summer might find quiet relief in Away from Her, SarahPolley's adaptation of Alice Munro's 1997 short story “The Bear Came Over the Mountain,” now out in its own movie tie-in paperback from Vintage, with a preface by Polley. Starring a still ludicrously beautiful Julie Christie as a woman fading fast from Alzheimer's (or is she?), the film is an affecting, unsentimental study of the accumulations of love, hurt and grace that define a 44-year marriage.