Kunkel's 'Indecision' heads for bigscreen

Using his own coin, Scott Rudin has acquired screen rights to “Indecision,” the Benjamin Kunkel novel that launches this week as Random House’s lead fall fiction title.

Rudin committed to a seven-figure purchase price and closed the deal Friday.

Kunkel, who wrote his first novel after becoming known on the lit scene with his biannual journal N+1, drew two rave reviews last week from the New York Times. Novel chronicles a chronically indecisive and underachieving 28-year-old who, after ingesting an experimental drug, heads off to Ecuador to track down a high school flame.

Rudin, who will make the transition from Paramount to Disney by year’s end, will likely set a writer-director before he puts the book at a studio. Rudin has a long track record of securing screen rights to novels before the reviews and awards pour in. He got the jump on “Indecision” after being tipped by Jonathan Franzen, whose novel “The Corrections” Rudin also is producing.

Rudin lit acquisitions usually attract top talent.

Joel and Ethan Coen recently agreed to write and direct the screen adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s new novel, “No Country for Old Men.” Franzen’s “The Corrections” was scripted by David Hare and will be directed by Robert Zemeckis; Michael Chabon’s “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay” was adapted by Chabon and will be directed by Stephen Daldry; Eric Roth just signed on to adapt Jonathan Safran Foer’s new novel, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” for Paramount and Warner Bros.; and WB set Steve Conrad (“The Weather Man”) to adapt the Rudin-produced Chang-Rae Lee novel “Aloft.” The McCarthy, Franzen and Chabon books are set at Paramount, for the moment.

Another Rudin lit buy, the Zoe Heller novel “What Was She Thinking?,” recently began shooting at Fox Searchlight under the title “Notes on a Scandal,” with Richard Eyre directing Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench.

Rudin ankled his longtime Par deal to make movies for Disney and Miramax, and two new movies he’s exec producing are likely to be set at the new Miramax before he officially transitions at year’s end.

They are the Stephen Frears-directed “The Queen,” which starts filming Sept. 15, with Helen Mirren starring and Andy Harries, Christine Langan and Frears producing the Peter Morgan script; and “Venus,” scripted by Hanif Kureishi, which helmer Roger Michell shoots in November. Kevin Loader and Michell produce.

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