Berlinger grooves on ‘Metallica’ book

Deal comes two weeks after IFC picks up docu

St. Martins Press has acquired world rights to documentary helmer Joe Berlinger’s manuscript “Metallica: This Monster Lives,” based on his three years documenting the band.

Acquisition comes two weeks after IFC Films picked up theatrical rights to the doc of the same name (Daily Variety, Feb. 24).

Deal is first of a two-book agreement: In 2005 St. Martins will publish Berlinger’s memoirs, “Murder, Music & Mayhem: a Filmmakers Mid-career Report,” about his industry experiences, including helming “Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows.”

“Metallica” is derived from the unprecedented access granted by the band to Berlinger and his longtime production partner, Bruce Sinofsky. Tome will include exclusive photographs, some taken by Berlinger.

Pair became acquainted with the heavy metal stars when clearing use of their songs for docu “Paradise Lost.” Berlinger and Sinofsky were alongside Metallica as they underwent group therapy and struggled to create their latest album, “St. Anger.”

“The band was incredibly cooperative in the making of the film,” said Berlinger. “It’s a filmmaker’s dream to have them fully support the book as well.”

Berlinger suggested the book when he realized he had far more info about the band than could be condensed into a two-hour film. While Sinofsky is not collaborating with Berlinger on the book, the project has his blessing.

St. Martins will publish “Metallica” in November; IFC Films will release the doc in July.

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