Par dresses for prom pic ‘Pennsbury’

Film based on Bamberger book which hits stores May 2004

Paramount is going to the prom, buying rights to an upcoming book about a Pennsylvania high school prom for Tollin/Robbins and MTV to produce.

“Pennsbury” will chronicle a year in the life of seniors at Pennsbury High School, which stages a spectacular prom each spring with the motto “every year, better.” The event has become a tradition in the Philadelphia suburb with the public attending arrivals, which feature attendees arriving in outlandish vehicles such as trolleys and semi-trucks.

Studio acquired the rights from Michael Bamberger, who is writing a book about the event to be published by Morgan Entrekin of Grove Atlantic in May 2004.

“This is a movie about coming of age,” said Tollin/Robbins partner Michael Tollin. “While the prom is the defining moment for these kids, ‘Pennsbury’ is really about facing the first true crossroads in life and coming to grips with the future.”

Anthony Jaswinski, who penned “Unseen” for Columbia and “Westward” for New Line, is attached to write the screenplay. Caitlin Scanlon, who heads Tollin/Robbins’ film division, will oversee the project for that shingle while veep of development Susan Lewis will shepherd the project for MTV.

“It is the Pennsbury kids who make this story unique,” Bamberger said. “If you walked by them in the mall, you would think they are ordinary. If you get to know them over the course of a year, you find that they are amazing, filled with both despair and dreams.”

Tollin/Robbins, which has a first-look deal at Par, is in final negotiations to produce “Fever Pitch” for Fox 2000 with Robbins directing (Daily Variety, May 14). It’s in post-production on “The Perfect Score,” directed by Robbins and to be released by Paramount and MTV next January, and “Radio,” directed by Tollin and to be released by Revolution/Columbia in November.

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