'Bones' producer has surprise hit with 'Vernon'

Producer Aimee Peyronnet has a knack for seeing movies in quirky, dark-horse novels that become very big deals.

There was “The Lovely Bones,” Alice Sebold‘s bestselling hit that Peyronnet convinced Britain’s FilmFour to buy more than three years ago. Last July Stephen Spielberg‘s keen interest in the project landed Peyronnet’s Wild Child Films a first-look deal at DreamWorks, where the pic will most likely be made.

Now the French-born producer has another surprise hit on her hands: “Vernon God Little,” the idiosyncratic first novel by D.B.C (for Dirty But Clean) Pierre (a pseudonym for Peter Finlay), which won Britain’s prestigious Booker Prize last month. Peyronnet optioned the rights to the novel back in January.

Since the Booker was announced, Peyronnet says writers and directors are starting to call — though, somewhat ironically, DreamWorks passed on it.

Like “Lovely Bones,” which is told from the point of view of a dead person, “Vernon God Little” might be a hard sell in Hollywood were it not for its prize-winning pedigree. The book’s narrator is a 15-year-old Texan whose best friend has just recreated a Columbine-like massacre at his high school. Every other word out of Vernon’s mouth is “fucken,” and he is described in the New Yorker as “Holden Caulfield on amphetamines.”

The character does provide some tips on how to make his movie: “God made me through a fucken magnifying glass. You know right away my movie’s the one where I puke on my legs.”

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