MAD ASHES Win a Pulitzer and watch Hollywood try to claim the prize. That’s what Frank McCourt learned after his memoir, Angela’s Ashes, nabbed the prestigious award for biography in April. McCourt had already sold an option on the book in December to producers Scott Rudin and David Brown for $100,000, but the pair had yet to commit to a studio. Which is why, right after the Pulitzers were announced, three studios engaged in a bidding war to distribute the film. Hollywood’s interest is understandable. The moving story of McCourt’s grim childhood in Ireland has attracted top talent: Pierce Brosnan was once interested in the role of McCourt’s alcoholic father (”I said, ‘Pierce, you’re just too damn good-looking,’ ” jokes McCourt). Also, John Boorman (Beyond Rangoon) has been mentioned to direct. As for stars, McCourt has his own suggestions: ”There’s one actor who could play the part of my father — Stephen Rea. He’s got [my father’s] hangdog look, and he’s scrawny.” Despite such an attractive pitch, Rea, who says he was ”very affected by the book,” is nonetheless ”flattered.”
Posted May 2 1997 — 12:00 AM EDT
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