‘Flicker’ flies to producing duo

Robert Geisler and John Roberdeau — the producers behind “The Thin Red Line,” Terrence Malick’s first project in 20 years — have optioned the film rights to Theodore Roszak’s 1992 thriller “Flicker.”

Book tells the story of a man who frequents an arthouse theater in West L.A., where he succumbs to a lifelong ob-session with a nearly forgotten silent film noir director, who vanished in the 1940s. Twenty years later, the man seeks the truth behind the helmer’s disappearance.

The duo also is producing “The White Hotel,” adapted from the D.M. Thomas novel.

Roszak previously published the National Book Award nominees “The Making of a Counterculture” and “Where the Wasteland Ends.”

Roszak was repped by Tricia Davey and Suzanne Gluck of ICM. Attorney Thomas Selz of Frankfurt, Garbus, Klein & Selz brokered the deal on Geisler-Roberdeau’s behalf.

Citadel’s out for ‘Payback’

Thomas Kelly’s widely publicized debut blue-collar thriller, “Payback,” has been optioned for film by L.A.-based Citadel Entertainment (“Pandora’s Clock”). Kelly’s novel is a hard-edged tale of two Irish brothers during New York City’s 1980s construction boom. One works himself through law school by toiling as a summer sandhog — a tunnel digger. The other is an enforcer for the mob.

Published in February by Knopf, “Payback” has received critical raves and widespread media coverage. Kelly’s cur-rently in the L.A. area as part of the book’s promotional tour.

Citadel exec producer Mark Sennet brought the novel into the HBO-owned company, which is looking to develop it into a feature.

The Renaissance Agency’s Joel Gotler brokered the deal on behalf of Kelly’s Gotham lit agent, Nat Sobel.

Doubleday drawn to ‘Anatomist’

Doubleday coughed up $200,000 for Argentine novelist Federico Andahazi’s novel “The Anatomist,” about a 16th-century Italian scientist who discovered the clitoris while examining corpses. He then studied its functions while bedding a Venetian prostitute.

The novel earlier caused a literary scandal in Argentina, when Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat, the wealthy business-woman who sponsors the Fortabat Foundation literary prize, rejected the jury’s decision and refused to hand over the competition’s trophy because “the book does not defend Western, Christian values.” She eventually gave Anda-hazi the cash award.

‘Patient’s’ patient author

Further evidence that Hollywood has not become the literati capital it is reported to be: Michael Ondaatje — whose Booker Prize-winning novel “The English Patient” was the basis for the Miramax film — went unrecognized and largely ignored by the photogs, press and TV crews who were lined up to capture arriving celebs at Miramax’s post-Oscar Mondrian Hotel fete in L.A. According to one attendee, Ondaatje seemed unfazed by the limelight’s ab-sence and simply made his way to his daughters, who had watched the ceremonies from the hotel.

Pages in preview

The Gospel According to the Son

Norman Mailer (Random House) Pub date: May

In biblical-style prose, Mailer attempts to retell the story of Jesus. Revising the Gospels only partially, Mailer’s Je-sus is the son of God, a Jewish miracle worker who is crucified for his teachings and later rises from the dead. Mailer depicts the human side of Jesus — his confusion and pride as he comes to understand who he is.

Rights: available

Bad Blue Eyes

Neal Barrett Jr. (Kensington) Pub date: June

In Barrett’s comic crime story, illustrator Wiley Moss (last seen in “Skinny Annie Blues”) has been kidnapped by a one-eyed Indian and an albino movie freak. It seems Wiley’s talents have caught the attention of mobster Vinnie (Spuds) DeMarco, who wants Wiley to draw the Spudettes, resident cuties of his underutilized brothel.

Rights: available

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