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Frey pens MTV’s ‘Prep’

Scribe to adapt prod of Coburn's tale

Paramount and MTV Films have tapped James Frey to script the adaptation of “Prep,” MTV’s production of Jake Coburn’s dark tale of New York City’s prep schools.

“Prep,” set in the world of elite Manhattan prep schools, centers on a young man who’s seduced by what’s portrayed as Gotham’s uninhibited party lifestyle. Over the course of a weekend, he reconciles with a girlfriend while trying to save her younger brother, who has been targeted by a local gang.

Frey is best known for his memoir “A Million Little Pieces,” which detailed his attempts to overcome addictions to alcohol and crack cocaine. He’s adapting “Pieces” into a screenplay for Warner Bros. with John Wells and Plan B producing and Lawrence Dunmore directing.

Frey is developing a TV pilot for 20th Century Fox and has written another book, “My Friend Leonard,” a sequel to “A Million Little Pieces” that’s due to be published in June.

Benderspink partners Chris Bender and JC Spink are exec producing “Prep” with Coburn’s manager, Dave Brown. Paramount VP of production Pamela Abdy and Eben Davidson are shepherding the project for the studio while MTV Films VP Heather Parry is overseeing for the shingle; Jill McElroy, who brought “Prep” into Benderspink, is co-producing.

Coburn’s next novel, “Lovesick,” will be published in September by Dutton.

The deal for “Prep” is the latest move under Viacom co-prexy Tom Freston and newly installed studio chief Brad Grey to aim Paramount toward younger, hipper audiences by taking advantage of the MTV brand. MTV also is developing an untitled heist project with Sean Combs and action-drama “Locked and Loaded,” with Jim Sheridan directing rapper 50 Cent.

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