Columbia Pictures has bought the rights to a comedic first novel by Marc Acito in a six-figure deal with Laura Ziskin attached to produce.
“How I Paid for College: A Tale of Sex, Theft, Friendship and Musical Theater” will be published next September by Broadway Books, an imprint of Random House.
The project was brought to Sony by director of development Shannon Gaulding, who will oversee the pic with co-prexy of production Matt Tolmach.
“Acito has such a fresh voice,” Ziskin said. “It could be the kind of movies that ‘Risky Business’ or ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ were.”
The novel was brought to the “Spider-Man” producer’s attention by Edward Hibbert, who reps Acito at Donadio and Olson.
A few years ago Hibbert brought Ziskin — then at 20th Century Fox — a book by another client, bestselling author and cult icon Chuck Palahniuk. That was “Fight Club.”
“He’s never steered me wrong,” Ziskin said of Hibbert.
Both Acito and Palahniuk, who are friends, are natives of Portland, Ore., and it was Palahniuk who tipped off Hibbert to “How I Paid for College.”
“There must be something in the drinking water up there,” Ziskin said.
The novel follows a New Jersey teenager in the early 1980s who needs to scour for dough in order to attend Juilliard.
Ziskin recently produced “Spider-Man II,” due out next summer, and is in pre-production on “Me and My Monster” and the big-budget actioner “Stealth,” all for Col.