Detective Thriller ‘The Zero’ Adds Matt Rager to Adapt

Passage Pictures’ movie version of Jess Walter’s detective thriller “The Zero” is gaining momentum with Matt Rager on board to adapt, Variety has learned exclusively.

Veteran producer Uri Singer picked up rights to “The Zero” in August to produce through Passage. Singer’s credits include two Michael Almereyda films — “The Experimenter,” which starred Winona Ryder and Peter Sarsgaard, and the recently released “Marjorie Prime,” starring Lois Smith, Geena Davis, and Jon Hamm.

“The Zero,” a finalist for the National Book Award, centers on a cop who wakes up to find he’s shot himself in the head in a city and a country shuddering through the aftershocks of a devastating terrorist attack. As the smoke slowly clears, he finds that his memory is skipping, lurching between moments of lucidity and days when he doesn’t seem to be living his own life at all.

Singer said, “‘The Zero’ paints a moving character portrait of loss, trauma, and grief while also offering a scathing political satire of post-9/11 American society. I have worked with Matt twice in the last two years, on his adaptations of ‘Rich’ and ‘Tracks.’ He is an amazing writer, and I look forward to working with him to develop this project.”

Rager is also adapting the Stephen King novella “Drunken Fireworks” for Rabbit Bandini and Rubicon and “Neurotribes” for Paramount with Lorne Michaels producing. He has collaborated with James Franco on “As I Lay Dying,” “The Sound and the Fury,” “In Dubious Battle,” and “The Institute.”

Rager is repped by APA, Thruline, and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein.

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