Miss Teen Wordpower’s Film Deal Evaporates


By Neal Comment

When PW Daily came out this morning, its coverage of the Opal Mehta recall came with a new twist: citing Variety, they revealed that Dreamworks is pulling the plug on its plans to film Kaavya Viswanathan’s novel. (Interestingly, and it almost makes me wish I had a Variety sub to get past the firewall and confirm, PW seems to be suggesting that one possible solution being negotiated was for Dreamworks to buy Megan McCafferty’s film rights as well.)

In the same flurry of dispatches, PW head Sara Nelson weighs in, looking past Viswanathan’s transgressions to “what this says about the publishing process, and about how and why books get bought and sold.” This leads to more discussion on the insidiousness with which book packagers have gotten their fingers into nearly every slice of the publishing pie. The whole mishegoss, she concludes, “suggests that even the most well-bred publishing houses are not as desperate to find promising writers and great novels as they are to find attractive authors (preferably with interesting backstories) with whom they can match up test-marketed, packaged stories.”