Universal finds ‘Little Girl Lost’

Jonathan Levine to direct bigscreen adaptation of crime novel

Universal has picked up film rights to Richard Aleas’ hardboiled crime novel “Little Girl Lost” and attached Jonathan Levine to direct.

Attached to adapt is Michael Bacall.

Levine’s credits include “The Wackness” and the upcoming “Live With It” (formerly titled “I’m With Cancer”).

Bacall co-wrote the screenplay for “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” and appeared in several Quentin Tarantino films, as well as writing “Project X,” which is currently filming.

Marc Platt is producing “Little Girl Lost” with Adam Siegel and Mason Novick. Platt and Siegel produce via Marc Platt Prods.

Published in 2004 by Hard Case Crime, “Little Girl Lost” tells the story of a New York City private investigator who is stunned to learn that his high school girlfriend — a stripper — has been murdered. The last he knew, she had moved to the Midwest to become an eye doctor. He sets out to learn the truth about her death.

Aleas is the pen name of Hard Case Crime founder Charles Ardai, who also founded Internet company Juno and writes for Syfy series “Haven.”

“Little Girl Lost” was a finalist for mystery novel kudos including the Edgar Allan Poe Award and the Shamus Award.

Levine is repped by CAA and the Nervik Co, while Bacall is repped by WME. Ardai is repped by Intellectual Property Group and the Cynthia Mason Literary Agency.