In a seven-figure deal, producer Scott Rudin has made a preemptive acquisition of “Indignation,” the Philip Roth novel to be published in September by Houghton Mifflin.
The property has not yet been set up at a studio. Rudin, who just shared the Academy Award for best picture with Joel and Ethan Coen for their adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s “No Country for Old Men,” made the deal immediately after reading Roth’s novel.
“Indignation” will be Rudin’s first collaboration with Roth.
Set in 1951, book focuses on the 18-year-old son of a kosher butcher in Newark who grapples with anti-Semitism, sexual repression and the escalating Korean War as he comes of age at a Midwestern Lutheran college. “It is a completely remarkable book,” Rudin said. “I’ve been a maniacal fan of Roth’s for years and waited for the one I thought could really be a great movie. It has remarkable movie potential.”
Roth, a Pulitzer Prize winner for “American Pastoral,” last saw his novel “The Human Stain” turned into a film. Next will be the MGM release “Elegy,” based on Roth’s “The Dying Animal.” “Goodbye, Columbus” and “Portnoy’s Complaint” were also adapted for the screen.
The Wylie Agency repped Roth.