Scott Rudin Makes A Bid For Freedom

Snaps up rights to Jonathan Franzen book

It's not published until the end of September (a month earlier in the States), but Scott Rudin has already grabbed the movie option to Jonathan Franzen's next novel Freedom, according to Deadline.

The book, by early accounts, fixes a beady eye on American family life, with Patty and Walter Berglund, formerly exemplars of organically green-living middle class perfection, suddenly losing it. Their son moves in with the Republicans next door, Walter goes to work for the coal industry, Patty has become "an unhinged Fury", and Walter's disreputable rocker-buddy is hanging around. The question is, what happened?

It's Franzen's first novel since the justifiably super-lauded The Corrections ten years ago, and anticipation is high (Deadline point out that Time magazine has Franzen on the cover, and they haven't put a novelist there for a decade).

Film-wise, it's clearly juicy dramatic material, capable of drawing in a quality cast. Early days yet though, since Rudin has yet to assign a writer or secure a studio. He also picked up The Corrections years ago, and that's still in development, with Robert Zemeckis pencilled-in to direct, so it may be a while before Freedom picks up speed.