Scott Rudin books 'Maynard'

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Scott Rudin has optioned Rudolph Delson's novel "Maynard & Jennica" and attached scribe Liz Meriwether to pen the screenplay.

The project is set up with frequent Rudin collaborator Miramax.

"Maynard" tells a whimsical story about the relationship between a filmmaker-musician and his more introspective girlfriend that is set before, during and after Sept. 11. It's told from the points of view of several dozen narrators, including the people -- and in some cases objects and animals (including a macaw and a subway-train brake) -- familiar with the couple's relationship.

When it was published in the fall by Houghton Mifflin, Delson's quirky novel drew positive reviews from critics, who noted the "shimmer(ing) prose" and "small delights" of the characters' interactions as well as the unconventional storytelling style.

Meriwether, who is currently working on the script, is considered an up-and-coming writer with a particular flair for writing about relationships. The scribe, who also is a playwright and television writer, was behind last year's Fox pilot "Sluts" and also is developing the pilot script "Uncle Artie," which is in contention for a June pick-up at Fox.

Miramax and Rudin have emerged as a power team in the specialty film world, with Rudin behind the Disney specialty division's Oscar winners "No Country for Old Men" and "There Will Be Blood" (both co-productions with Par Vantage) and the upcoming "Doubt," the period Catholic school drama based on the John Patrick Shanley play.

Rudin and Miramax also are collaborating on "Special Topics in Calamity Physics," another project based on a quirky buzz-generating novel with young writer-director talent (Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden) attached.

The novelist Delson, who is not involved in the film adaptation, said in an interview that he became familiar with Meriwether's work after seeing a play of hers last year and thought that she was well-positioned to adapt the novel's many voices.

"There are 35 voices in it, each with their own idiosyncrasies, different American dialects and sentence structures. I don't know enough about cinema to pull that off, but I think she does."

Meriwether is repped by WMA.

Gregg Goldstein in New York contributed to this report.
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