This year both Stephen Glass stories will reach the American public.
Simon and Schuster this week releases Glass’ fact-inspired fiction “The Fabulist,” about how a reporter very much like the 25-year-old Glass fabricated stories for a magazine very much like the New Republic and eventually got canned amid much public scorn.
And in September Lions Gate Films will release “Shattered Glass,” the film version of Glass’ own story based on a Vanity Fair article by Buzz Bissinger.
Glass wrote several stories for the New Republic in which he invented sources and made up details, including one about George W. Bush and another about teenage hackers.
And while the arrival of the two tales seems like a typical publicity ploy — book paves way for movie — the two efforts actually had nothing to do with one another.
And even if they did, considering that the normal sequence of events is that a book’s rights are sold prior to publication and a movie is made about three years later, the four month-spread is unusual. (Lions Gate was apparently only made aware of the book when a reporter called last week.)
Charles Lane, Glass’ former editor at the New Republic and now a reporter for the Washington Post, is astonished that “someone could do what Steve did and cash in on it, but I guess that’s the way America works these days.”
It paid off for Lane, too, since he received a fee for consulting on the Lion’s Gate pic.