Paramount Pictures has acquired screen rights to the Joshua Foer book “Moonwalking With Einstein” in a preemptive deal and will develop it as a potential directing vehicle for “Nacho Libre” scribe Mike White.
Book is set for publication by Penguin in late 2009, and the rights to it were auctioned on the basis of a proposal.
Foer, the brother of “Everything Is Illuminated” author Jonathan Safran Foer, is writing his own story. A young journalist who discovered there was a world of competitive memorizers, Foer spent a year learning the techniques and became a competitor who won both the U.S. and World Memory Championships.
White will produce with Ben LeClair through Rip Cord Prods., the shingle White formed at Paramount after he and Jack Black dissolved their Black and White banner and Black stayed at Universal. It is unclear whether White will adapt. White previously wrote “The School of Rock” and “Orange County” for Par.
It’s the first book for Foer, a Brooklyn-based science writer whose work appears in the New York Times and Washington Post.
White, who is editing his directorial debut, “Year of the Dog,” for Paramount Vantage, is a priority for the studio. He has an easy relationship with top brass formed in the TV world. Before he became head of Par, Brad Grey exec produced two White-created TV projects, “Pasadena” and “Cracking Up.” Both shows aired while current Paramount head of production Gail Berman ran Fox.