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Kimberly Peirce attached to A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Kimberly Peirce attached to A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Universal Pictures is in negotiations to pick up the rights to Dave Eggers's best-selling autobiography, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, which New Line Cinema has put into turnaround after three years of development. Out Boys Don't Cry director Kimberly Peirce is attached to develop the project, which was adapted by Nick Hornby and D.V. DeVincentis. The book, Eggers's first, was published in 2000 and focuses on his life as a young adult. He was orphaned at 22 when his mother died of stomach cancer only a month after his father died. Left alone to care for his 8-year-old brother, Eggers was forced to come up with innovative ways of child-rearing. While worrying about welfare authorities and abusive baby sitters, he cofounded the satirical San Francisco-based Might magazine and unsuccessfully tried to get on MTV's The Real World. Former New Line production president Michael De Luca spearheaded the original acquisition of the book's rights in 2000 for an estimated $2 million price tag. If Universal does wrap a deal to take over the property, it could lead to a repeat of the path followed by About a Boy. New Line put that high-priced property, based on the Hornby novel, into turnaround in 2001, after De Luca's departure, only to have Universal pick it up and develop it into the hit movie, released last year.

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