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DreamWorks and Sam Mendes are checking into The Voyeur’s Motel.
The studio has swooped in to buy film rights to the Gay Talese-penned article that ran in the April 11 issue of The New Yorker. Mendes is attached to direct the project, which had several studios in pursuit over the past day. Steven Spielberg will produce.
The nonfiction piece, which spans decades, follows Gerald Foos, who bought a motel in order to watch his guests having sex. He wound up witnessing a murder.
The unsettling story is written in the first person and recounts the first time Foos reached out to the famed journalist in 1980 in the form of an anonymous letter. The sprawling narrative is an excerpt from a book that is set to be published July 12 by Grove Press.
Mendes, who also will produce Voyeur’s Motel through his Neal Street Prods. banner, has a long history with DreamWorks, dating back to his best picture winner American Beauty (1999). But his last two films have been in the James Bond franchise with Spectre and Skyfall. Voyeur’s Motel would represent a return to the something-rotten-in-suburbia terrain of American Beauty.
CAA, which reps Mendes and Talese, packaged the deal. Talese is handled for publishing by Lynn Nesbit of Janklow & Nesbit. Mendes is additionally repped by attorney Melanie Cook of Ziffren Brittenham.