E! is reporting that Zac Efron — the possibly engaged star of High School Musical and 17 Again (or not, depending on what report you want to believe) — is interested in starring in a movie adaptation of Robert Rave’s just-published debut novel, Spin. The book seems to be a “distaff” version of the recent chick lit sub-genre about an innocent ingenue (preferably from the Midwest) who moves to Manhattan, goes to work for a shrewish boss in Big Media, and comes close to losing her soul in the process. The twist this time is that the ingenue is a guy, what the jacket calls “a corn-fed young man from the Midwest who stumbles into New York without a clue, a contact, or a proper wardrobe.” Though he’s (presumably) straight, his name is even gender-ambiguous: Taylor Green. I suppose if you’re going to make what seems for all the world like a chick flick but just happens to star a guy, Zac Efron is your ideal leading man. Remember that Devil Wears Prada star Anne Hathaway cut her teeth on Disney fare like the Princess Diaries movies.
By the way, the shrewish boss, a PR diva named Jennie Weinstein, is a stand-in for the controversial New York publicist and perennial Gawker.com punching bag Lizzie Grubman, for whom Rave toiled as an assistant nearly a decade ago. “Why would someone write a book about me when they worked for me such a long time ago?” Grubman tells EW’s David Yi about Spin. “If someone wants to write a book about me, fine. I’ll take it as a compliment.”
Like many recent books in the Devil Wears Prada vein, Spin isn’t just counting on a movie deal to spark reader interest. The book’s publisher, St. Martin’s, is also promoting the novel with a trailer. This one is a little more ambitious than most — it features four young actors playing out a scene from the book — though it pales in comparison to last year’s polished McG-directed clips for Celebutantes, another St. Martin’s novel, that one written by Amanda Goldberg (daughter of film producer Leonard Goldberg) and Ruthanna Khaligi Hopper (daughter of actor Dennis Hopper). The Celebutantes trailers set a perhaps impossibly high bar for the genre. They were spiffy enough to make me yearn for a TV series based on the book, if not drive me to the read the book itself. But this Spin trailer? I’m not sure it stirs my interest in either the book or a film that would squeeze Efron into a pair of pink Manolos.