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Industry Roundup: Sean Penn To Play A Genius, Diablo Cody Sells Breadwinner

Penn As Perkins?: Sean Penn is in talks to play literary editor Max Perkins in Genius, based on A. Scott Berg’s biography of the “fedora-wearing eccentric editor-in-chief” at Scribner, who oversaw the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. The script, by John Logan, focuses on Perkins’ relationship with a young Thomas Wolfe, though the screenplay is "peopled with literary characters." [HR]

Cody's A Winner: Diablo Cody has sold a comedy pilot to Fox called The Breadwinner. Details about the script and plot are frustratingly being kept hush-hush. The network signed a “put-pilot deal,” meaning the pilot will be shot and, if it’s not aired, Fox will pay the penalty. Not a bad deal. [HR]

Playing With Fire: Sony has begun talks with Steve Zaillian to start work on the adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl Who Played With Fire, the second in the best-selling Millennium Trilogy. Zaillian wrote the script for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, which will be entering production this fall (assuming they ever decide on a Lisbeth Salander). [Deadline]

Playing With Fire: Sony has begun talks with Steve Zaillian to start work on the adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl Who Played With Fire, the second in the best-selling Millennium Trilogy. Zaillian wrote the script for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, which will be entering production this fall (assuming they ever decide on a Lisbeth Salander). [Deadline]

Touchdown: Kurt Russell will star as a high-school football coach in Touchback, from writer/director Don Handfield. With that last name, Don was basically destined to direct a movie about football someday. [Variety]

Mage Becomes Movie: Watchmen producer Lloyd Levin is bringing the 1980s comic Mage to the big screen. Levin acquired the rights to Matt Wagner’s 15-book collection centering on an “alienated young man who discovers he has superhuman abilities, gains a magic baseball bat and defeats the nefarious plans of a being called the Umbra Sprite.” If you knew what an "Umbra Spite" was before reading this item, this news probably makes you very excited. [Variety]

Photo: Kris Connor/Getty Images