Studio, Neufeld option murder mystery

Producer Mace Neufeld and Paramount Pictures have optioned Lindsay Maracotta’s murder mystery “The Dead Hollywood Mom’s Society,” in a deal worth up to a mid-six figures.

Maracotta and Brad Neufeld are attached to adapt for the screen the book which takes a satirical look at Hollywood family life.

“Society,” which went into three printings after its 1996 publication by William Morrow, is the first in a series featuring the character of Lucy Freers, an animator and producer’s wife turned gumshoe.

In the first installment, Freers finds a body in her backyard and then pairs up with a streetwise po-lice detective to find the killer.

Subsequent installments, which Neufeld views as potential franchise material, include “The Dead Celeb,” published last year, and “Playing Dead,” due out later this year.

“It’s difficult to find a great franchise with a strong female lead — someone as dynamic and appealing as Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan,” said Neufeld, who produced successful adaptations of three Clancy novels for Par.

In addition to “The Hunt for Red October,” “Patriot Games,” “Clear and Present Danger” and “No Way Out,” Neufeld recently produced “Blind Faith,” starring Courtney Vance and Charles Dutton. The picture, which preemed at Sundance in January, aired on Showtime earlier this month.

Neufeld is currently casting Paramount’s “The General’s Daughter,” with Simon West attached to direct.

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