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“The Quincunx,” the pastiche of a conventional 19th-century British novel that became a surprise bestseller last year, is being pitched by the studios for a bigbudget epic. It’s been optioned by a joint venture of two London-based entertainment companies: the Chrysalis Group and Red Rooster Films.

Lisa Pare, an exec with Red Rooster, said English director Stephen Bayly will do the movie. He’s in L.A. this week, pitching the project to studios with agent Toby Jaffe, of United Talent. Pare calls the script “a cross between ‘Great Expectations’ and ‘The Elephant Man,’ with a couple of Steven Spielberg action scenes thrown in for good measure.”

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