Sunset, “Lottery,” “Letters” Get Helmers

A couple of projects scored impressive directors today.

First up, James Ponsoldt (“The Spectacular Now”) is negotiating to adapt and direct an adaptation of the Stewart O’Nan novel “West Of Sunset” for Sidney Kimmel Entertainment.

The story follows “The Great Gatsby” author F. Scott Fitzgerald in the last years of his life when he came to Hollywood to start anew as a screenwriter in 1937. Troubled with poor health, finances, and a wife committed to an asylum, his time in Los Angeles did not go well. This is juxtaposed with flashbacks to his early days as a literary king.

Next up, “Annie” and “Easy A” director Will Gluck has signed on to helm Disney’s untitled lottery movie previously known as “Lucky Guy”. Dan Lin is attached to produce.

The lead character has also changed gender, with the story now following a consistently unlucky woman whose streak of bad luck continues when everyone in her small town wins the lottery except for her.

Finally, Catherine Hardwicke (“Twilight,” “Red Riding Hood”) is in early talks to direct an adaptation of Ava Dellaira’s book “Love Letters to the Dead” for Temple Hill Entertainment and Fox 2000. Dellaira will write the script.

The story centers on a character named Laurel who, for an English class assignment, writes a letter to a dead person Kurt Cobain. Soon she has a notebook full of letters to famous dead people like Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart and Heath Ledger.

In the letters she shares her experiences and ultimately writes about the abuse she suffered and the death of her sister, ultimately using the writing to come to terms with the truth about her sibling.

Source: Deadline, Variety & THR