Fox Searchlight Nabs 'Professor and Bikini Model' for Steve Zaillian to Produce (Exclusive)
The specialty label also has set Film Rites' Garrett Basch to produce the film based on the New York Times magazine feature.
Fox Searchlight has optioned The New York Times feature The Professor, the Bikini Model and the Suitcase Full of Trouble and has set Film Rites' Steve Zaillian and Garrett Basch to produce.
Written by Maxine Swann, the piece ran in the Sunday magazine March 10.
Described as a modern take on Lolita, the story follows Paul Frampton, a divorced theoretical particle physicist, who meets Denise Milani, a Czech bikini model, on the online dating site Mate1.com. Milani's pictures on the site show a dark-haired, dark-eyed beauty with a supposedly natural DDD breast size. The two begin to correspond and plan their perfect life together, but first, the woman asks the British professor if he would deliver a special package to her, setting him on a course of danger.
Searchlight and the producers are now looking for a writer to adapt.
Film Rites has its first-look deal at Fox and has a number of projects set up with the studio's various labels including the Adrian Lyne-helmed thriller Deep Water at Fox 2000 and the dystopic thriller Wool at 20th Century Fox.
Swann is the author of the novels The Foreigners and Flower Children.
ICM Partners repped The New York Times in the dealmaking. Zaillian and Basch were repped by WME.
Email: Tatiana.Siegel@THR.com, Twitter: @TatianaSiegel27