After a spirited competition, we hear, Daily Show executive producer Josh Lieb has made a handsome movie deal for his YA novel, I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President. We're told that McG's production company Wonderland optioned the book for $150,000 against a $500,000 purchase price, based only on Lieb's (very funny) 30-page proposal. In addition, Lieb will write the screenplay, and his writing deal could, we're told, add up to another $600,000 — bringing the complete deal up past a million bucks. It won't make Lieb the third-richest person in the world, like his seventh-grader hero, but it certainly is a nice chunk of change.
The bigger question is whether McG is the right fit for this charming story of an isolated teen who lashes out at the world, the details of which we first reported on Tuesday. Several sources we spoke to seemed unconvinced that the mono-monikered director of Charlie's Angels would pull off the material. "Not the version of the story I wanted to see," sniffed one Hollywood insider we spoke to whose studio lost out on the property. Another said, more succinctly: "Barf."