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Industry Roundup: Tatum, McDormand

By The Handbook: Channing Tatum will star in The Contortionist’s Handbook, the film adaptation of the 2002 Craig Clevenger novel. Tatum will play a forger who “moves smoothly from one identity to the next because of a strict code of conduct that keeps him from getting caught or having to deal with his own troubled past.” Eventually though, this equanimity is fractured when he falls for a beautiful woman who has, of course, “her own dark secret.” Tatum will also serve as a producer on the film, which was written by Robin Shushan. [Deadline]

Paramount Says “Bonjour” to Au Revoir: Paramount Pictures has acquired the screen rights to Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick, an unreleased young adult novel by Joe Schreiber. The deal could potentially involve Gossip Girl creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage under their new Fake Empire banner. The story follows a high schooler whose parents take in an Eastern European exchange student who eventually reveals herself to be a “beautiful assassin after five targets.” The high schooler “is pressed to help and has to figure out if her motives are righteous.” Our guess: they’re righteous! [Deadline]

Producer Hat: Frances McDormand has set two projects into motion in a producing capacity. She is developing a potential series adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout for HBO. And she’s also attached Diane Lane to star in a Nicole Holofcener-scripted feature adaptation of Laura Lippman’s crime novel Every Secret Thing. McDormand would star as Olive should the pilot script by Jane Anderson get picked up by HBO, but she wouldn’t appear in Secret. Kitteridge focuses on the residents of a fishing village on the coast of Maine. Secret revolves around two tween girls sent home early from a birthday party due to bad behavior. When the girls come across a baby in a carriage on their way home, the child “ends up dead,” and the girls are set to jail for seven years. When they’re released, “other children begin to disappear. Lane would play a detective trying to solve the creepy-sounding mystery. [Deadline]

Tolan’s World: NBC has picked up Brave New World, a workplace comedy project from Peter Tolan (The Job, Rescue Me). The series revolves around the staff at a Plymouth Plantation-esque museum where people reenact the “the way the Pilgrims once went about their days.” Sounds like Parks and Recreation meets your 8-year-old’s stilted Thanksgiving-themed school play. [Deadline]

Hamburg Gets Deal: John Hamburg, who wrote all three films in the Meet the Parents franchise, has signed a deal with 20th Century Fox to develop a comedy series project for the 2011-2012 season. He also wrote and directed I Love You, Man, which increases our excitement… and Along Came Polly, which brings us right back to neutral. [Deadline]

: Twentieth Century Fox is in negotiations to acquire Chronicle, a spec script from the son of director John Landis, Max Landis. First-time director Josh Trank is on board, as well. The story focuses on three Portland teenagers that are exposed to a mysterious substance in the woods and, as a result, begin to develop “incredible powers.” Things progress swimmingly until “personal and family problems begin to turn them against one another.” Secret Life of Alex Mack flashbacks, anyone? [Heat Vision/HR]

Industry Roundup: Tatum, McDormand