Dayton, Faris may adapt 'Abstinence Teacher'
Directing duo Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris are trading beauty pageants for sex ed.The “Little Miss Sunshine” team is in talks to helm the bigscreen adaptation of Tom Perrotta’s upcoming tome “The Abstinence Teacher” for Warner Independent Pictures, in what could be their next feature project. “Abstinence” would reunite Dayton and Faris with “Sunshine” producers Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa of Bona Fide Prods. Yerxa and Berger also boast a longtime relationship with Perrotta, having produced “Election” and “Little Children,” both based on Perrotta’s tomes. Perrotta will pen the screenplay for “Abstinence,” working with Dayton and Farris. “Abstinence,” due out next year from St. Martin’s Press, revolves around a divorced sex ed teacher in middle America who is at odds with the town’s more conservative groups. At the same time, she finds herself falling for her daughter’s born-again soccer coach. Warner Independent prexy Polly Cohen scooped up the film rights to the book in September, marking her first major buy since taking over the top post and beating out several other suitors. Faris and Dayton, both commercial directors, continue to bask in the success of their debut film and indie hit “Little Miss Sunshine,” which they sold at Sundance earlier this year to Fox Searchlight. Pic, an awards contender, has grossed nearly $60 million at the domestic box office. Bona Fide, which is in theaters with “Little Children,” also produced Anthony Minghella’s “Cold Mountain” and Steven Soderbergh’s “King of the Hill.” Warner Independent’s upcoming slate includes John Curran’s “The Painted Veil,” starring Naomi Watts and Edward Norton.