Movie Article

'Work'-aholic

Dave Eggers... control freak or staggering ''Genius''? -- The story behind ''A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius''

Nick Hornby | THE MAN BEHIND THE 'GENIUS' Hornby
Image credit: Nick Hornby: Jessica Gow Kod/Retna
THE MAN BEHIND THE 'GENIUS' Hornby

Will the film of Dave Eggers' best-selling memoir be as heartbreakingly, staggeringly genius as the book? With the screenplay being completed and a director signing on, we're a lot closer to finding out. Nick Hornby and D.V. DeVincentis (who collaborated on the movie version of Hornby's novel ''High Fidelity'') are polishing the script while producers finalize a deal with ''Boys Don't Cry'' director Kimberly Peirce. ''Kimberly approached me and said, 'I know this isn't obvious, but I want to do it,''' producer Lynn Harris says. ''Her passion persuaded us.''

Meanwhile, the notoriously protective Eggers has also been involved in the screenwriting process. In one scene in the book, he imagines flying with his brother Christopher. ''We're worried people will get bored. But Dave insists we can't cut it,'' says Hornby. ''We want to make sure he's happy with what we're doing, not just because of our respect for the book, but because it involves his family. And of course, Dave's a bright guy. He's a sophisticated control freak.''

Originally posted Sep 12, 2003 Published in issue #727-728 Sep 12, 2003 Order article reprints