NEW YORK — Columbia Pictures has acquired screen rights to the Daniel Wallace novel “Big Fish” and has attached “Go” screenwriter John August to adapt it. Between the book option and screenwriting fees, the deal is worth high six figures against a seven-figure sum.
The novel, published by Algonquin Books, focuses on a man who watches over his father as dad languishes on his deathbed. The son realizes that he doesn’t really know the man because whenever his father told stories about himself, he always exaggerated and created mythical tales. The man then goes about recounting the tales and trying to ascertain who his father really was.
The book was covered by all of the studios and didn’t get that much attention until August sparked to it. He wrote the novelization of “Natural Born Killers” and scripted “How to Eat Fried Worms” for Nickelodeon and “A Wrinkle in Time” for Paramount. He has become a hot scribe after writing the Doug Liman-directed pic “Go.” That film, with a young cast that includes Katie Holmes, Taye Diggs and Scott Wolf, was just acquired for distribution by Columbia, and the studio wanted to bring August back for an encore.
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Col’s Ricky Strauss and Angela Gianetti brought in the book, and president Amy Pascal approved the deal; two other studios were bidding. The book deal was brokered by UTA’s Richard Green and Howie Sanders with lit agent Joe Regal of Russell & Volkening. August is repped by UTA’s David Kramer.