"No Country" producer books quirky "Maynard" novel

Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:00am EDT
 

By Steven Zeitchik

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Scott Rudin, one of the Oscar-winning producers of best-picture winner "No Country For Old Men," has optioned the film rights to Rudolph Delson's quirky September 11-related novel "Maynard & Jennica."

The story revolves around the relationship between a filmmaker-musician and his more-introspective girlfriend that is set before, during and after the 2001 attacks.

It's told from the points of view of several dozen narrators, including the people -- and in some cases objects and animals (including a macaw and a subway-train brake) -- familiar with the couple's relationship.

When it was published in the fall by Houghton Mifflin, "Maynard & Jennica" drew positive reviews from critics, who noted the "shimmer(ing) prose" and "small delights" of the characters' interactions as well as the unconventional storytelling style.

Rudin, who has set the project up at "No Country" partner Miramax, has hired Liz Meriwether to pen the screenplay. The playwright and television writer is considered an up-and-coming talent with a flair for writing about relationships.

Delson, who is not involved in the film adaptation, said in an interview that he became familiar with Meriwether's work after seeing a play of hers last year, and thought that she was well-positioned to adapt the novel's many voices.

"There are thirty-five voices in it, each with their own idiosyncrasies, different American dialects and sentence structures. I don't know enough about cinema to pull that off, but I think she does."

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

 
<p>Directors Ethan Coen (L) and Joel Coen (R) pose at the Governor's Ball after winning Oscars for best director and best adapted screenplay, next to producer Scott Rudin who holds an Oscar for best picture for their work in "No Country for Old Men", following the 80th annual Academy Awards, the Oscars, in Hollywood February 24, 2008. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson</p>