Lansing puts ‘Ashes’ on fast track for Par

NEW YORK — Paramount chairman Sherry Lansing has committed to financing “Angela’s Ashes,” and is fast-tracking the film after coming to terms this week with producers Scott Rudin and David Brown, who had optioned the book. Both producers have deals at the studio and Par is looking for a director.

Early this year, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Frank McCourt memoir was optioned in tandem by Rudin and Brown, who put up their own money for the rights to the book and to commission a script by Laura Jones.

McCourt won a Pulitzer for the book, which was a surprise runaway bestseller. Several studios were trying to bid for the rights. The book is a memoir of coming of age in a poverty-stricken family in Ireland.

Jones previously adapted Pulitzer Prize winners “A Thousand Acres” by Jane Smiley and “The Shipping News” by E. Annie Proulx. She also scripted “Oscar and Lucinda” and the Jane Campion films “An Angel at My Table” and “The Portrait of a Lady,” based on the Henry James novel.

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