EXCLUSIVE: The Weinstein Company is doubling down on James Ponsoldt, the writer-director of The Spectacular Now and Smashed. TWC has made two big deals with Ponsoldt: He’ll script a movie adaptation of the venerable musical Pippin, and he’s also been set to adapt and direct Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, the upcoming novel by Matthew Quick. Quick’s Silver Linings Playbook was an Oscar–season hit for TWC.
Nobody was giving out much in the way of details, but Pippin is based on the musical about the son of King Charlemagne and his attempt to find his place in the world. The original had music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Roger O. Hirson. Bob Fosse directed the original production, and a revival is headed to Broadway later this year.
As for the Quick novel, the book will be published in August by Little, Brown Books For Young readers. On his birthday, a young man puts his grandfather’s pistol in his backpack, with plans to kill his former best friend and then himself. He also makes plans to say goodbye to four people who matter most to him. There is a Humphrey Bogart-obsessed next-door neighbor; a violin virtuoso classmate; a girl he has a crush on; and a favorite teacher who teaches about the Holocaust. Harvey Weinstein and David Glasser brokered the deal with Ponsoldt’s reps, UTA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners Brad Petrigala, and Dylan Sellers is steering the project.
Ponsoldt is coming off The Spectacular Now, which was scripted by (500) Days Of Summer scribes Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber and stars Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Elizabeth Winstead in a drama about a mismatched young high school students. It was bought at Sundance by A24, which recently set an August 2 release.