‘Muse’ finds asylum with ‘Smoke’ duo

Newman, Johnson join Schwarz in psych thriller

Peter Newman and Greg Johnson, who were among the producers of “Blue in the Face” and “Smoke,” have teamed with producer Will Schwarz to acquire the feature rights to David Czuchlewski’s debut novel “The Muse Asylum.”

Czuchlewski began penning the book, published last year by Putnam and just released in paperback, while studying under Joyce Carol Oates at Princeton. Between the time he began the novel and the time it was published, Czuchlewski went on to med school.

“Muse” is a psychological thriller that centers on a love triangle between a group of Princeton grads and a Pynchon-esque reclusive author.

“We jumped at the chance to make a film of ‘The Muse Asylum,’ ” said the producers. “Not only is the narrative compelling and the quality of the writing top-notch, the story offers intelligent and complex characters that could be career-changing roles for young actors.”

The producers are in talks with a number of writer-directors who would adapt the project for the screen.

Czuchlewski was repped by lit agent Elly Sidel of John Hawkins and Associates and Irv Schwartz of AMG.

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