News From Hollywood

— A HEARTBREAKING RELATIONSHIP In what sounds to us like a stroke of brilliance, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, the best-selling memoir by Dave Eggers, will be adapted for New Line by High Fidelity author Nick Hornby and screenwriter D.V. DeVincentis (who cowrote the Fidelity script). Hornby and Eggers have joined forces before: Two years ago, Eggers contributed to a collection of short stories titled Speaking With the Angel, which Hornby edited. So far, the project — optioned by New Line for a reported $2 million in 2000 — has no director.

— MONSTER’S BALL The Rules of Attraction director Roger Avary (see story, page 42) is moving from depicting the struggles of depraved college kids to depicting the struggles of an actual monster. Along with author Neil Gaiman (whose acclaimed Sandman comic Avary once took a stab at adapting for Warner Bros.), Avary has written an adaptation of Beowulf. The director, who says the movie will be largely faithful to the medieval text, plans to use an actual actor to play the menacing creature Grendel rather than rely on CGI. ”I want to do something that is on the scale of Excalibur,” says Avary; with the script complete, ”now we go out and scrounge the money together.” Should that prove too beastly a task, Avary also owns the rights to Glamorama, written by Rules author Bret Easton Ellis.

— SING, SING A SONG… And (maybe) they can act, too! American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson says that she and fellow contender Justin Guarini have met with screenwriter Kim Fuller (who happens to be the brother of the show’s producer, Simon Fuller) to discuss starring in a romantic comedy. While the songbird says it has ”nothing to do with American Idol at all,” a source says that Clarkson and Guarini would play themselves.

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
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