Early word on ''Proof''

First Gwyneth Paltrow fell in love, swooning for David Auburn's Pulitzer Prize-winning play about a daughter hounded by her math-wizard father's twin demons of genius and mental illness. So she called her friend, Shakespeare in Love director John Madden, about launching a stage production in London. Then she speed-dialed Miramax heavy Harvey Weinstein -- ''He would have killed me if I hadn't, put a Jewish Mafia-style hit on me'' -- and gave him first dibs on buying her the movie rights. A handshake and huzzahs for her London performance later, the trio went to work, bolstering their ranks with Anthony Hopkins. Jake Gyllenhaal swoops onto the scene as Paltrow's numbers-geek suitor, and Hope Davis (''my new idol'') plays her tightly wound sister. Add them up, and Miramax figures the result could be Oscar.

Originally posted Jan 23, 2004 Published in issue #747-748 Jan 23, 2004 Order article reprints

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