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A killer deal for New Line, Ellroy

Studio 'Living' large with new thriller

New Line Cinema beat out several bidders to acquire screen rights to the Nicci French novel “Land of the Living,” with James Ellroy set to write the script. Alexandra Milchan will produce and Joel Gotler exec produce.

Deal was near seven figures both for the rights to the book and Ellroy’s script fees. Novel was published two years ago but gained steam when Ellroy pitched his take on the novel and to do his first adaptation of a book other than his own.

Story concerns a promiscuous woman who’s captured and tortured by a serial killer. After surviving the ordeal, she has to figure out what happened because cops and even her friends think she fabricated the story.

Milchan brought the book to Ellroy, who just adapted his own “The Night Watchman” at Paramount. Milchan is producing that pic with Lucas Foster and Erwin Stoff.

Ellroy, who wrote the novel “L.A. Confidential,” just had his novel “The Black Dahlia” turned into a Brian De Palma-directed drama at Universal. Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, Hilary Swank and Aaron Eckhart star.

Milchan is also producing “Fast Girls” at Fox Searchlight with Deborah Chase and just finished “Chapter 27,” with Jared Leto and Lindsay Lohan, for Peace Arch.