Focus reaches for ‘The Heights’

Author to adapt, direct and produce novel for indie studio

Focus Features has nabbed the film rights to Peter Hedges’ new tome “The Heights” for the multi-hyphenate to adapt, direct and produce.

Novel is Hedges’ first book in more than a decade; he’s been busy directing and writing for the bigscreen (“Pieces of April,” “Dan in Real Life”).

Published last month by Dutton, Hedges’ latest book is about a seemingly perfect husband and wife raising their children in an affluent neighborhood of Brooklyn known as the Heights. But their lives are turned upside down when a wealthy couple moves in next door.

Hedges’ debut novel was “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” which he also adapted for the 1993 film version. Other screenwriting credits include “A Map of the World.”

“The Heights” reteams Hedges and Focus prexy of production John Lyons, who announced the deal. Before he joined Focus, Lyons produced “Pieces of April.”

“I’m thrilled to be working with Peter again. He is a filmmaker of great warmth and humor, and with ‘The Heights’ we will be taking full advantage of his considerable skills,” Lyons said.

Focus has Noah Baumbach’s Ben Stiller topliner “Greenberg” in theaters. Upcoming releases include Thomas Balmes’ “Babies,” Anton Corbijn’s “The American,” starring George Clooney, and Kevin Macdonald’s Roman epic “The Eagle of the Ninth.”

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