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Joel Schumacher moves into The Crowded Room

Joel Schumacher moves into The Crowded Room

Variety reports that out filmmaker Joel Schumacher (the upcoming Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera) will direct the long-in-development property The Crowded Room, based on Daniel Keyes's biography The Minds of Billy Milligan, about a male victim of childhood sexual abuse who had 24 separate personalities. Room has been knocking around Hollywood long enough for this to be Schumacher's fourth crack at the material--he came close to directing it on two occasions with Brad Pitt and on another with Billy Crudup. Producer Alexandra Milchan rescued the dormant project and says that enough overseas distribution rights have been sold to raise a budget of $20 million. The book was first optioned in 1998 by James Cameron, who envisioned John Cusack in the role. Since then, the project has passed through the hands of directors David Fincher (who wanted Brad Pitt), Steven Soderbergh (Sean Penn), and Danny DeVito (Leonardo DiCaprio), as well as Nick Cassavetes, F. Gary Gray, and Gus Van Sant. Schumacher delayed production of the film version of Patricia Cornwell's Cruel and Unusual to make Crowded Room happen.

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