Friday, October 19, 2012

The Rules of Civility: Can You Judge a Book by its Cover

Yes, sometimes you really can judge a book by its cover. Take Rules of Civility. This is a movie waiting to happen. You don't have to have read Rules of Civility to know the best seller is destined for the screen. Just one look at the cover and you know everything you need to know.
The overview just cements that notion.
"It's 1938 and twenty-five-year-old Katey Kontent and roommate Evelyn Ross have moved to New York, determined to small-town Depression boredom with lively nights in the City That Never Sleeps. Determined to escape the clattering confines of a Wall Street secretarial pool, Katey searches for romance and advantage where she can find it; and find it she does, but in Amor Towles' polished debut, chance often trumps design. A stimulating look at a great city that no longer exists. (P.S. An early review justly predicted "Readers will quickly fall under its spell of crisp writing, sparkling atmosphere and breathtaking revelations, as Towles evokes the ghosts of Fitzgerald, Capote and McCarthy.")"

Don't we all love films that take place in the old glamorous New York? Whether it's the Jazz Age of the 20's and The Great Gatsby, or the late 30's early 40's war era of The Best Days of Our Lives or Woody Allen's beloved black and white Manhattan, the city and its strivers calls to us all.

Lionsgate's Erik Feig heard the call too and has been working to option this book since it was first published last summer. The producer who has been behind the adaptations of The Hunger Games, The Twilight series and Letters to Juliette among other projects, talked to Deadline about how he finds movies.

Nikki Finke writes:


Author Amor Towles
Erik Feig is on the far right












"Feig, who as Summit’s production chief always made books a staple of the production slate before he took over Lionsgate, tells me that he makes it a point to find what books people are reading by asking everyone he knows, and by simply walking down the beach or watching in the subway to eyeball book covers. This is what led him to Rules Of Civility, a book that has a ferocious female following. Feig was not the only one to knock on the author’s door, only to be sent away. A graduate of Yale and Stanford and the principal of a big hedge fund, Towles didn’t need Hollywood option money, and was wary of trusting Hollywood with the book he’d always wanted to write. Towles didn’t even really want to discuss it personally, routinely turning away suitors through his agents at WME.
Undaunted, Feig tried to find a connection to meet the author, and eventually discovered that his wife’s childhood best friend knew Towles. That got him a meeting with the author during the summer, but no deal. Feig told Towles what to insist upon to protect himself if he made a deal. That must have resonated because Towles finally reached out–insisting on the very terms that Feig suggested. Lionsgate closed the deal.
“There is a universality to this story of a woman trying to better her station in life, and it’s one you would find in anything from The King’s Speech, Silver Linings Playbook or Saturday Night Fever,” Feig said. “These are themes that, if Charles Dickens came back, he would understand.”

Doesn't that sound delightful? Katey (formerly Katya) Kontent is going to be a plum part eyed by a ton of twenty somethings. Emma Stone, are you available?

The studio is in the process of finding a screenwriter. Expect Rules of Civility to hit movie theatres in 2014. With Gatsby coming out in May of 2013 we'll be chomping at the bit for another New York period piece by then!

6 comments:

  1. You're right -- the lure of the 20s. And Emma Stone is so versatile. I'm sure she could do it.

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  2. I love that I get all of my book-into-movie news from you. What did I do before your blog?

    I was actually less than enamored of this book, so it might make a better film than book for me. (Blasphemy, I know!)

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  3. I loved this book - delighted to hear that there is a movie in the making too :-)

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    Replies
    1. I don't know about the plot but the place and time are calling me!

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  4. There were some good lines sprinkled here and there but for the most part I was unengaged and bored. It was a very predictable novel.

    Marlene Detierro (Parts for Hummer)

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