Best-selling author Augusten Burroughs, whose memoir Running With Scissors has been adapted into a film starring Annette Bening and Jill Clayburgh, already has another film deal in the works -- for a book he hasn't even finished writing yet. Burroughs notes on his website that he is writing a memoir about his father, which -- although not even written yet -- has been optioned by Universal. Red Wagon, the prodco behind Jarhead and Memoirs of a Geisha, will produce. Universal bought the rights to a book that doesn't yet exist, says Burroughs, all because they heard him talk about his father and believed in his passion. Burroughs says of the deal, "People complain - endlessly, it seems - about "Hollywood" and the quality of "Hollywood" pictures. But here we have some of the biggest names in the business, going forward with a project only because of the passion of the author. Is it a risk? Technically, yes. To buy something before you've even seen it? Yes, that's a risk. But it's only by taking risks that we get to the really, really good stuff in life."
I just saw Running with Scissors this week (review to come at the end of the month), and if Burroughs' book about his father is anywhere near as good as Running with Scissors and his other work, I could get pumped about it. I suppose it's a little naively hopeful to feel excited about a film adaptation of a book that's not yet been written, but what can I say? I'm a lit geek and a film dork; you put those two things together, and my heart goes all a-flutter. Burroughs was closely involved creatively with the film adaptation of Running With Scissors. I wonder if he'll get Ryan Murphy to direct again, and whether Joe Cross will reprise his role (assuming Burroughs will be a character in the yet-to-be-written source material). Burroughs' fans will also be glad to know that in addition to all this writing of books and creating of films, he's also developing a new weekly, hour-long series for Showtime.