‘Value’ placed on suburban script

Have-it-all family's world upended in Willett project

Former Paramount prexy John Goldwyn and producer Sara Colleton (“Riding in Cars With Boys”) have optioned Sabin Willett’s “Present Value,” a tale of suburban overachievers whose lives unravel.

Goldwyn, who segued into an exclusive production deal with Par in January, and Colleton are producing with an eye to developing a contemporary pic mixing comedy and drama along the lines of “American Beauty” and “As Good as It Gets.”

Willett’s novel centers on a have-it-all family — headed by a toy company exec and a corporate attorney — whose comfortable world is upended when the company’s stock tanks and the husband is arrested for insider trading. The wife loses her job, their houses are repossessed and the husband begins questioning his life.

Colleton said she brought the project to Goldwyn due to the novel’s mix of humor and redemption amid the isolating impact of today’s high-tech world. “What attracted me was seeing the lead character recover his integrity after losing everything,” she added.

Colleton and Goldwyn are seeking writers and writer-directors to come on board. “The lead character is very complex and beguiling,” Goldwyn said. “His unpredictability is what propels you through the story, so it’s a very rich part for actors.”

Since turning to producing, Goldwyn’s joined forces with Lorne Michaels on a trio of comedy projects: “Sebastian Knight,” “Mall Cops” and a project be written by Tina Fey, head writer on “Saturday Night Live.” He’s teamed with his director brother, Tony Goldwyn, on an untitled thriller about a poor man who appropriates the identity of his wealthy friend; he’s also developing a remake with father Samuel Goldwyn Jr. of “The Secret Life Walter Mitty.”

Colleton, who most recently exec produced HBO’s “Live From Baghdad” with Rosalie Swedlin, is a producer with Stratus Films on “Painted Veil” for Fine Line.

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