Out Hollywood producer Scott Rudin needed to read only two pages from the Guests of the Ayatollah, a book about the Iran hostage crisis, before making a seven-figure deal for the screen rights, reports Daily Variety.Black Hawk Down author Mark Bowden is writing the book, to be published in 2005. Bowden spent five years researching the crisis that occurred when Iranian students stormed the American embassy in 1979 and held its staff hostage for 444 days. This film will concentrate on the hostages and their survival during prolonged captivity. "The deal puts Rudin behind a high-profile nonfiction subject for the first time," Variety reported.
Rudin's formidable track record includes such films as The Hours,The Royal Tenenbaums,The First Wives Club, and this year's sleeper hit School of Rock. Rudin has just wrapped up The Stepford Wives, starring Nicole Kidman. In addition, Rudin has Michael Chabon (author of Wonder Boys, which Rudin produced for film) at work on a screenplay for Chabon's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, a story of two Jewish cousins in 1939 New York, one gay, the other straight.