Bette Midler eyes biopic of ‘Valley’ scribe Susann

Who better to play flamboyant “Valley of the Dolls” author Jacqueline Susann than the equally flamboyant Bette Midler?

Simon & Schuster editor Michael Korda wrote a memoir last month in the New Yorker about his work with Susann on her second novel, “The Love Machine,” and how she revolutionized the role authors play in promoting their way to best-seller status.

Several studios are intrigued by the screen possibilities. Sources said Midler is particularly interested, and has been calling studios to get a project set up for her to star in. Creative Artists Agency’s Bob Bookman is shopping it, and Disney was close to buying it for a mid-six against high-six-figure sum, since Midler’s All Girl Prods. has a deal at the studio.

That’s denied by Midler’s partner, Bonnie Bruckheimer, who declined to elaborate. It’s the second New Yorker story to work Hollywood into a lather, after Fox 2000 paid in the high six figures for Lawrence Wright’s “A Rapist’s Homecoming,” which he’ll fictionalize and turn into a feature script.

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