Pair pact for Pessl novel 'Calamity'

Miramax Films and producer Scott Rudin have optioned screen rights to “Special Topics in Calamity Physics,” the critically acclaimed first novel by Marisha Pessl. Rudin will produce.

The novel concerns a teenager who, after spending the first three years of high school moving each semester with her eccentric teacher father, settles in in a North Carolina town for her senior year. There she becomes part of an upper-crust social set called the Bluebloods and gets caught up in the mysterious death of their favorite teacher. The book hit the bestseller lists last summer when Viking published it.

It is the latest of several recent projects set at Miramax recently by Rudin, who exec produced the studio’s awards season entry “The Queen.”

Rudin worked with CAA and lit agent Susan Golomb, with whom he made a screen rights deal for the Jonathan Franzen novel “The Corrections.” David Hare, who adapted “The Hours,” is scripting that project at Paramount.

“Marisha has such a distinctive literary voice, but this is also a cracking good murder mystery and coming-of-age tale of a teenage girl who falls in with an alluring and seductive crowd of kids at an elite school,” said Miramax production president Keri Putnam.

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