Par fathers sequel

Nabs rights to DeMille's 'Daughter' follow-up

Paramount Pictures has paid seven figures for the film rights to “Up Country,” Nelson DeMille’s sequel to “The General’s Daughter.”

Project is earmarked for Sony-based Mace Neufeld to produce. John Travolta, who starred in “Daughter,” which grossed $102 million domestically, is already in early talks to star.

Novel was offered to Paramount late Thursday in synopsis form; Warner Books will publish it in fall 2001 with a printing of 1 million hardcover copies. The publisher last year slapped down north of $5 million for the book rights, while the Book-of-the-Month Club coughed up $875,000 to make it one of their “main selections.”

When news surfaced of DeMille’s next book, interest was widespread but Paramount had first crack and snatched it up.

Set in contemporary Vietnam, book again features the U.S. Army investigator Paul Brenner, who travels back to Vietnam to solve a murder that occurred 30 years earlier during the war. DeMille himself fought in the Vietnam War and recently visited the country. Tone of the journey documented in his forthcoming book is likened to “Heart of Darkness.”

DeMille’s earlier books, “Plum Island” and “Lions Game,” both rose to the New York Times bestsellers list and are on the fast track at Columbia, where Neufeld is developing and will produce them.

Neufeld’s recent producing credits include Paramount’s “Bless the Child.” He is nearing production on the film version of Tom Clancy’s “The Sum of All Fears” and “Asylum,” based on the Patrick McGrath novel.

DeMille is repped by Nick Ellison at Gotham-based Nicholas Ellis.

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