'Black Swan' helmer boards Mandalay thriller

Darren Aronofsky is set to direct pop thriller “Machine Man” for Mandalay Pictures based on Aussie author Max Barry’s serialized online story and upcoming tome about a geek who equips himself with high-end parts.

Mark Heyman, who worked with Aronofsky on “Black Swan,” will pen the adaptation.

Aronofsky has a full plate as he preps for the Dec. 3 release of Fox Searchlight’s “Black Swan” and negotiates a deal to direct 20th Century Fox’s “Wolverine” sequel.

“Machine Man” will be produced by Cathy Schulman via Mandalay, which has a first-look deal with Universal.

Mandalay secured the rights to Barry’s manuscript in November 2009. “Machine Man” was published last year, one page per day, as an online serial. Suggestions from readers were integrated into the plot as the story unfolded.

Final page of Barry’s online serial was published Dec. 1. Vintage Books releases the novel next spring.

In “Machine Man,” a gadget geek and engineer working at a forward-thinking tech firm decides to systematically replace his weaker fleshy parts with high-end titanium performance upgrades of his own design. But he isn’t the only one with plans for his superior parts.

Barry will exec produce the bigscreen adaptation. His previous book, “Company,” was optioned by Universal, with Shady Acres attached to produce, while “Jennifer Government” was picked up by Warner Bros., with George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh shepherding.

Aronofsky was last in theaters with “The Wrestler,” which Heyman co-produced.

Mandalay’s slate includes an untitled elephant orphanage project at New Line and Martin Scorsese’s “Sinatra” at Universal. Company is in post on “Salvation Blvd.” starring Pierce Brosnan, Ed Harris, Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly and Marisa Tomei.

Both Aronofsky and Heyman are repped by CAA.

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