Borders may break into movie biz

Retail giant options rights to 'Day'

Is bookstore chain Borders getting into the movie biz?

The retail giant has taken an option on Tom Avitabile’s as-yet-unpublished first novel “The Eighth Day,” which Borders will publish itself later this summer. The Borders Group has a small proprietary publishing arm called Borders Books that has been active for just over a year.

A Borders Group spokeswoman said that the company would be “a catalyst for getting the movie made” but stopped short of saying that Borders is launching a film division. Borders Group CEO George Jones is not unfamiliar with the movie biz, however, having previously served as prexy of worldwide licensing and retail for Warner Bros.

It’s understood that Borders intends to take on “a producing role” in any pic adaptation of Avitabile’s book.

The book itself, a thriller about a presidential “science adviser” named Bill Hickok, is due out Aug. 26.

Borders Books put out its first project, Nick Santora’s “Slip and Fall,” in 2007. That book was on bestseller lists within a week of its release date, despite being sold exclusively through Borders’ stores and partner Amazon.com.

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