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Scott Z. Burns in Talks to Direct 'The Professor, the Bikini Model' for Fox Searchlight (Exclusive)

Scott Z. Burns Headshot - P 2013
NBC
Scott Z. Burns

The writer behind "The Bourne Ultimatum" also would adapt the New York Times Magazine feature.

Scott Z. Burns is eyeing a move behind the camera.

The writer of such films as The Bourne Ultimatum and Contagion is in talks to direct The Professor, the Bikini Model and the Suitcase Full of Trouble for Fox Searchlight.

Last year, Searchlight optioned the strange true story chronicled in Maxine Swann's The New York Times Magazine feature.

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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. Burns is in negotiations to adapt the screenplay as well.

Film Rites' Steve Zaillian and Garrett Basch are producing.

The piece ran in the Times Sunday magazine March 10, 2013.

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Burns, who is frequent collaborator of Steven Soderbergh's, having written Side Effects, Contagion and The Informant!, has been eyeing a move to feature directing for some time. He directed an episode of the Showtime series Californication. Burns has a number of high-profile writing projects in development including 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea at Disney and the Lance Armstrong pic Red Blooded American at Warner Bros., with Bradley Cooper attached to star as the disgraced cyclist.

He currently prepping his play The Library, which will launch at New York's Public Theatre in mid-April (previews begin the end of March). Chloe Moretz stars, with Soderbergh directing.

Burns is repped by UTA, Anonymous Content's Michael Sugar and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer.

E-mail: Tatiana.Siegel@THR.com
Twitter: @TatianaSiegel27