Warner Independent Pictures has optioned Charles Bock’s debut novel “Beautiful Children” for Bona Fide Pictures partners Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa. The studio is in talks with Eric Roth to adapt.
The “Hamlet 2” exec producers add the feature adaptation of the Random House novel to several projects they are readying for production starts.
The WIP producers said their home studio moved quickly to bag “Beautiful Children,” in a deal made by Hotchkiss & Associates.
“Beautiful Children” was written over a 13-year period by Bock, who infuses his book with the desperation of Vegas hustlers, something he observed while working at pawn shops operated by his parents. The characters are connected by the disappearance of a surly 12-year-old.
“These are the lives of the people who you don’t see in the ads, having a good time in Vegas, and the book gets inside their hopes, aspirations and dashed dreams,” Berger said.
Berger and Yerxa are finalizing financing for “The Undeniable Charm of Sloppy Unruh,” a comic fable written and directed by Mario De La Vega (“Robbing Peter”). Patrick Wilson plays an underachieving drifter who returns home to Texas; Zooey Deschanel, Amy Ryan, Seann William Scott and John Doe also star.
Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski are directing their script “Big Eyes,” starring Kate Hudson, and Dean Parisot is set to direct the Kimmel Entertainment-financed pic “The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman.”
Berger and Yerxa are also reteaming with “Little Miss Sunshine” helmers Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris on a WIP adaptation of Tom Perrotta novel “The Abstinence Teacher.”
The duo produced the Todd Field-directed “Little Children” and noted that “Beautiful Children” now gives them two decidedly adult films with kiddie-sounding titles.
“We’re looking for a book with the title ‘Nasty Adults’ that would make a good children’s film,” Yerxa joked.
Roth most recently scripted “Shantaram,” which will star Johnny Depp.