Studio acquires rights to Baisden novel

Screen Gems has acquired screen rights to “The Maintenance Man,” Michael Baisden’s bestselling novel about a gigolo in existential crisis.

Syndicated radio host Baisden will pen the script with Ralph Farquhar.

Farquhar and Dwayne Corbitt will produce.

Baisden, a motivational speaker who hosts the ABC Radio Network show “Love, Lust and Lies,” covered all of those bases in his novel, which hit the bestseller lists after he self-published it in 1999.

Book concerns a handsome Julliard grad who puts his aspirations for a music career on the backburner after he becomes a male prostitute who makes a fortune as the hired companion of married women.

Baisden’s novel has been adapted into a stage play that toured the U.S. and a 2004 straight-to-DVD pic. The author also wrote and self-published the books “Never Satisfied: How and Why Men Cheat” and “Men Cry in the Dark,” the latter of which was also turned into a stage play.

The film fits into the urban programming scheme of Screen Gems, which scored a hit with “Stomp the Yard” and next shoots the Ice Cube starrer “First Sunday,” which playwright David E. Talbert wrote and is directing.

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