NY Times, Vanity Fair writers penning project

HBO is bringing the financial meltdown of 2008 to the smallscreen.

The pay web has acquired rights to a book that just sold for seven figures to Adrian Zackheim, publisher of the Penguin imprint Portfolio. The book, which focuses on the meltdown and the reason it happened, will be written by New York Times business writer Joe Nocera and Bethany McLean.

Nocera wrote a New York Times Magazine cover story on the crisis, and McLean writes for Vanity Fair, where she chronicled the failure of Fannie Mae.

The book will be delivered next January; it’s one of several high-profile titles about the crisis that have been set in publishing deals.

HBO plans a character-driven narrative that explains the roots of the crisis and how it was handled by Wall Street and Washington after it spiraled out of control and led to a multibillion-dollar government bailout.

McLean is the co-author of “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room,” the book that was turned into an Oscar-nominated documentary. She started the Enron scrutiny with reportage at Fortune magazine.

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