Chris Nashawaty
December 10, 1999 AT 05:00 AM EST

ALIENIST RESURRECTION? In an industry not exactly known for its love of literature—unless Daily Variety counts as literature—Scott Rudin has built his rep on having the hardest- working library card in show business. Still, even with such lit-flicks as Bringing Out the Dead, Sleepy Hollow, and Angela’s Ashes under his belt, there’s one tale the Paramount-based producer won’t be adapting: Caleb Carr‘s The Alienist. Despite coughing up $500,000 for the book’s rights in 1993, Rudin says he’s given up on the thriller about a psychologist tracking a child murderer in 19th-century New York City. ”In the end, I got very skittish about the subject,” says Rudin. ”I thought, ‘Where you have to go to make this movie work, I don’t want to go.”’ None of which comes as a shock to its author. ”It’s not that Scott won’t make this movie,” says Carr. ”It’s that he can’t…given the way he wants to interpret the material. He’s always wanted it to be a star vehicle with a romance instead of a psychological thriller that’s an ensemble piece.” But Carr says he still hopes to see The Alienist one day. ”Absolutely. But I don’t want it to be a bad movie that doesn’t resemble the book.”

DEAL FOR THE ‘DEVIL Is it us, or is the Sony lot beginning to resemble that superhero hangout, the Hall of Justice? Not to be outdone by crosstown rival Twentieth Century Fox (which has the big-budget X-Men flick slated for release in 2000), Sony is in final negotiations to acquire the rights to Marvel Comics’ Daredevil. The extrasensory saga about a blind lawyer-turned- crime fighter now joins Sony’s newly resuscitated Spider-Man movie, which was aborted by James Cameron and recently rewritten by Jurassic Park‘s David Koepp. While there’s been no word on who will direct Daredevil, may we suggest Kevin Smith? Not only did Mr. Dogma take a whack at Warner Bros.’ Superman Lives, but he guest-wrote several issues of the Daredevil comic book.

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