Hoffman-Ziff shingle to produce project based on a novel

Cooper’s Town wants to paint on HBO’s canvas.

The production shingle headed by Philip Seymour Hoffman and Emily Ziff has set up its first TV project, a script at HBO based on the novel “The American Painter Emma Dial,” by Samantha Peale. Scribe Sarah Treem, whose TV credits include HBO’s “In Treatment” and “How to Make It in America,” has been tapped to adapt the novel and exec produce with Hoffman and Ziff.

“Emma Dial” is described by Ziff as an “uptown/downtown” story set in Gotham’s art world as a young woman grapples with an identity crisis and the limits of her potential. Cooper’s Town development exec Sara Murphy will also produce. It’s still not clear if the project will be developed as an hour or half-hour.

The push into TV comes as Cooper’s Town also has set an ambitious slate of features, including thriller “The Well,” to star Mary-Louise Parker and Guy Pearce; and laffer “Mr. Crumpacker and the Man From the Letter,” from writer-director Kazuo Ohno to star Hoffman ( Daily Variety , Jan. 29).

Shingle’s past productions include 2005′s “Capote,” for which Hoffman won the actor Oscar, and “Jack Goes Boating,” which bowed at Sundance this year (and marked Hoffman’s directorial debut).

Cooper’s Town is shopping a second TV project from author George Saunders. It’s based on Saunders’ novella, “Bounty,” which revolves around a brother and sister working at a amusement park in post-apocalyptic America.

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