Josh Schwartz directing ‘Big City’

Novel was also basis for '88 Michael J. Fox film

MGM has set Josh Schwartz to write and make his feature directorial debut with a fresh take on the 1984 Jay McInerney novel “Bright Lights, Big City.”

Schwartz, co-creator-exec producer of NBC’s “Chuck” and CW’s “Gossip Girl,” will produce the film with Stephanie Savage.

The novel revolves around a disillusioned magazine writer who numbs the pain of a failed marriage and writer’s block with drugs, alcohol and nightly carousing. It was made into a film in 1988 starring Michael J. Fox and Kiefer Sutherland.

Schwartz, who made his mark as the creator of Fox’s teen sudser “The OC,” said he wasn’t sure if he would leave the McInerney tale in its original period or contemporize the film.

“Jay created a world that is really seductive and then deconstructed it in a way that is both funny and emotional,” Schwartz told Daily Variety.

Schwartz courted McInerney directly when they served as jurors together at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival. That relationship has led to a guest role for McInerney on “Gossip Girl.”

The rights were in the library of United Artists, which distributed the original film, and MGM Worldwide Motion Picture Group chair Mary Parent sparked to the notion of Schwartz putting his spin on the book.

Schwartz begins writing after he completes the script for “X-Men: First Class.” He’s also working on “Lily,” a “Gossip Girl” spinoff series that will star Brittany Snow.

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