DreamWorks drops Opal

The tragic tale of Kaavya Viswanathan, the juiciest – albeit most unpronouncable – New York book scandal in recent memory today sent its ripples all the way to Hollywood:

Per Variety,

“For DreamWorks, the scandal arrived just after the studio received a first draft of a screenplay by Kara Holden. Once Viswanathan’s school newspaper, the Harvard Crimson, revealed at least 40 glaring similarities between “Opal” and McCafferty’s earlier books, a promising project joined a Warner Bros. adaptation of James Frey‘s “A Million Little Pieces” on the movie-adaptation trash heap. While the studio initially contemplated acquiring [“Sloppy Firsts” author Megan] McCafferty’s book rights, days later DreamWorks was considered likely to cut its losses.”

The whole thing stinks to high Heaven. As the the New York Times pointed out a day ago, an editorial assistant at McCafferty’s publisher, Crown, Claudia Gabel, moved to Alloy – the “book packager” of “Opal” – where Gabel then helped develop the idea for Viswanathan’s book.

Aside from the unalloyed chutzpah Alloy has marshalled to leave Viswanathan twisting and humiliated in the wind, we also admire the utter audacity that DreamWorks displayed in such a morally ambiguous situation: We love the Opal story. Maybe we should just buy the other chick’s books?

Ah, Tinstletown: Faced with a corpse on the sidewalk, we simply step over the body and keep on walkin’.