U sweet on Schickler’s ‘Vicious’

'Shorty' scribe to produce adaptation of Dial Press tome

Universal Pictures has optioned David Schickler’s upcoming novel, “Sweet and Vicious,” and hired the author to pen the screenplay.

Scott Frank, whose scribe credits include “Minority Report,” “Get Shorty” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” will produce the pic.

Story concerns a diamond thief hiding out in a small Wisconsin town and the girl at the car wash who falls in love with him.

Tome isn’t due out from Dial Press until September, but the fact that U has already snapped up rights reflects what a literary brand name Schickler has become in the four years since the New Yorker published a short story by the then-unknown English teacher in its summer fiction issue.

That story, “The Smoker,” about a teacher at an all-girls school whose student proposes to him, was optioned by Scott Rudin Prods. and set up at Paramount. Richard Linklater is attached to helm with Natalie Portman to star.

Overseeing “Sweet and Vicious” at U is vice chair Mary Parent and veep Damien Saccani.

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