Publishing unit nabs rights to director's debut

Penguin Group Canada has acquired Canuck rights to local filmmaker David Cronenberg’s debut novel, set to be published in early 2010.

Penguin Group Canada executive editor Nicole Winstanley approached the Toronto helmer several months ago to ask whether he would consider writing a novel.

“His films demonstrate a deep understanding of the human condition that could translate into fiction brilliantly, so I’m delighted that he has decided to take on this challenge,” said Winstanley.

“I’ve literally been waiting 50 years to do this,” said Cronenberg in a statement. “I’m excited.”

Cronenberg refused to comment any further, but a Penguin spokesman said the director had definite ideas about the story and that it would be partially set in Toronto.

Penguin Canada acquired the book from Andrew Wylie of the Wylie Agency, and Wylie will sell the novel worldwide.

Cronenberg’s most recent film is London-set Russian mob thriller “Eastern Promises,” which is generating awards-season buzz.

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