The Write Stuff: ‘Shutterbabe’ zooms in

Anklings shake East Coast lit; Sorkin talks drugs in H'w'd

NEW YORK — Deborah Copaken Kogan, whose life as sex kittenish photojournalist was the subject of a recent memoir, “Shutterbabe,” will see her story splashed across the bigscren by the man who brought “Sex and the City” to HBO.

Darren Star has optioned Kogan’s memoir, “Shutterbabe: Adventures in Love and War” to develop as a feature. He’ll also write the script and plans to make it his directorial debut as a feature helmer.

Out from Villard, “Shutterbabe” tells of Kogan’s career as a photo correspondent freelancing her way through war zones from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, collecting lovers at every turn.

Star and Kogan, the author found out in their first development meeting, both attended Winston Churchill high school in Potomac, Md. “I feel like he knows from whence I came,” Kogan said.

“When we first met to talk about it, he was thinking of fictionalizing parts of it. I would daresay I even prefer that. It would be easier to see your life fictionalized.”

Kogan is currently writing a novel that’s not under contract, which she says “will have some international elements, but is based on one evening in a fictionalized country club in Potomac.”

Though the film deal for “Shutterbabe” was brokered by CAA, it’s a feat of packaging for WMA, which reps Kogan for book rights. Star recently joined WMA.

FIVE YEARS AGO, most of the studios had an East Coast lit outpost prospecting for books, plays, magazine stories and other material for the bigscreen.

Today those ranks have thinned, but several players remain, among them Paramount, Tribeca, Further Films, Scott Rudin Prods., Laura Ziskin Prods., Wendy Finerman Prods. and AMG.

But it’s still a small enough world that a major personel change at one of these shingles can set off a chain reaction at other shops. That’s what happened recently when Drew Reed ankled AMG and David Stefanou ankled Wendy Finerman Prods., virtually simultaneously.

In short order, AMG installed Lisa Hamilton as its New York lit liaison (Hamilton comes from the LA office of AMG/Renaissance). And Wendy Finerman has just hired Reed as her new veep of production.

Reed has worked his way through the New York scouting world, having served as director of development at both Columbia-Tristar Pictures in New York and Scott Rudin Prods.

Finerman (“Forrest Gump,” “Stepmom”), who has a first-look deal with Fox 2000, is currently developing “Drumline,” a comedy about a street drummer from Harlem that Charles Stone III will helm.

“For several years, Drew and I have been looking for the opportunity to work together,” Finerman said. “Drew’s presence will be critical to our efforts and many of the projects we have in development are based on books or other source material generated from New York.”

THE MEMOIRS OF FORMER Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro, which were scheduled to roll off the presses a few weeks back, are in limbo.

“Don’t Try This At Home,” is Navarro’s jaw-droppingly candid account of a year of drugs and decadence, full of snapshots taken from a photo booth he installed in his Hollywood Hills home. In a typical scene, Navarro ventures into the Orgy Room of the Playboy Mansion and, surrounded by three naked women, takes out a syringe and shoots up. “The mansion has always been somehow holy to me,” he says.

The book was under contact with the Regan Books imprint at HarperCollins, and it was serialized in the July issue of Spin. But days before the book was supposed to be printed, Navarro got cold feet and moved to block publication.

The book’s release was supposed to coincide with the Capital Records recent release of Navarro’s solo album, “Trust No One.” HarperCollins isn’t happy to have lost the free publicity record sales were likely to generate. When publishers shell out for a celebrity memoir, they usually bank on a promotional push from the author, and that’s far from a sure thing in Navarro’s case.

And though Navarro’s publicist, Luke Burland, says the musician plans to re-edit the book, that’s not likely to sit well with HarperCollins. The book’s frankness is a major selling point. And it’s all but printed between hardcovers, so any changes at this stage would be extremely costly.

HarperCollins is now squaring off with Navarro’s lawyers, but declined to say what the upshot will be. “We’re looking at the book and hope to release it as soon as possible,” publicist Paul Oslewski said.

IN TALK MAGAZINE’S SEPTEMBER ISSUE, Aaron Sorkin also offers a candid look at drugs in Hollywood.

In an interview with Michael Cieply – the first installment of a new column, Letter From Hollywood, that will regularly appear in the glossy, Sorkin talks of freebasing cocaine and writing and about his attempts at recovery before and after his recent bust at the Burbank Airport while attempting to board a plane for Las Vegas.

In other magazine news, David Carey has returned to the New Yorker as publisher after several months as head of the Business Information Group at Gruner + Jahr — a magazine unit comprising Inc. and Fast Company. David Kahn, who briefly replaced Carey, has been tapped to run the Conde Nast Image Center, a new division of Advance Publications that will market and sell archival material.

More Voices

  • America Ferrera'Superstore' TV show photocall, Comic

    America Ferrera Blasts 'Send Her Back' Chant: 'Embarrassing and Shameful'

    America Ferrera has been a longtime political activist who has focused a large part of her work on immigrant rights. She’s now speaking out about the chant of “send her back” targeting Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar that was shouted at a President Donald Trump rally earlier this week. “It’s devastating and shocking and embarrassing and [...]

  • Game of Thrones

    HBO's Return to Emmy Nomination Dominance May Be Short-Lived (Column)

    As Hollywood braces for the coming streaming wars, HBO’s huge Emmy nomination haul this week sent a new salvo Netflix’s way: The streamer may have the volume, but HBO still has the goods. At least this year. HBO’s record-breaking 137 nominations came on the strength of just 23 programs — led, of course, by “Game [...]

  • Deadwood HBO

    Netflix, HBO Get Ready to Rumble as Emmy Nominations and Phase 2 of Voting Loom

    Last year, Netflix ended HBO’s 17-year Emmy-nomination domination, posting 112 nods overall (to HBO’s 108), continuing the service’s miraculous rise. Now comes the next goal, which may be in reach this year: Surpassing HBO’s all-time record. HBO earned 126 nominations in 2015, its all-time best and a number that Netflix could hit this year. It’s [...]

  • Ellen Sitcom Original TV Show

    GLAAD Chief: Hollywood Needs to Continue Playing a Role in LGBTQ Progress

    This Pride Month is not only about celebrating — it’s also about reflecting how far LGBTQ acceptance has come since the Stonewall riots catalyzed the LGBTQ movement 50 years ago, and about honoring the trailblazers and leaders who propelled LGBTQ visibility and issues forward in what many social justice experts describe as relatively lightning speed.   [...]

  • Matthew Shepard MOth Judy LGBT Activist

    Matthew Shepard's Mother: Why Hate Crime Is Only Conquered When We Speak Up

    In January, “Empire” star Jussie Smollett reported a violent attack at the hands of two men outside his Chicago apartment building. Local police and prosecutors said Smollett fabricated the event, which the actor still vehemently denies. More than a dozen criminal charges, including falsifying a police report, were filed and later dropped by state attorneys. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content