Jess Walter’s Detective Thriller ‘The Zero’ in Development as Movie (EXCLUSIVE)

The Zero
Courtesy of Passage Pictures

Veteran producer Uri Singer is developing a movie based on Jess Walter’s 2006 sci-fi detective novel “The Zero” through his production company Passage Pictures, Variety has learned exclusively.

Singer’s credits include two Michael Almereyda films — “The Experimenter,” which  starred Winona Ryder and Peter Sarsgaard; and “Marjorie Prime,” starring Lois Smith, Geena Davis and Jon Hamm. “Marjorie Prime” opens Aug. 18 from FilmRise.

“The Zero” 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. The world is dominated by a Machiavellian mayor known as “The Boss,” and peopled by gawking celebrities, anguished policemen peddling First Responder cereal, and pink real estate divas hyping the spoils of tragedy.

The book was a finalist for the National Book Award. Singer said, “‘The Zero’ is a classic detective novel that paints a moving character portrait of loss, trauma, and grief while scathing political satire of post-9/11 American society. It’s also darkly funny throughout. I can’t wait to bring it to the big screen.”

Walter has published five other novels — “Over Tumbled Graves,” “Land of the Blind,” “Citizen Vince,”  “The Financial Lives of the Poets” and “Beautiful Ruins.” In 2013 he published his first collection of short stories, “We Live in Water.”

Singer has also optioned the rights to Don LeLillo’s “White Noise” with Almereyda set to direct, as well as “The King of Oil,” the biography of Marc Rich.

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