Working Title books rights to 'McMafia'


Working Title is going to the mattresses.

The U.K.- and Los Angeles-based banner has acquired rights to "McMafia," Mischa Glenny's sprawling book about organized crime around the world.

Glenny, an expert on global affairs, focuses on the network of mob criminals in places as diverse as Mumbai, Johannesburg and Eastern Europe; these players, he writes, operate illegal businesses ranging from drug smuggling to human trafficking, in operations that equal roughly one-fifth of the world's economy.

With its globalist themes, the book is said to be something of an underworld equivalent of Thomas Friedman's "The World Is Flat."

Nonfiction fare that lacks one central character or narrative typically has been seen as difficult to adapt to the screen. Nonetheless, such tomes as Michael Lewis' baseball study "Moneyball" and Malcolm Gladwell's decision-making exploration "Blink" are in development at major studios and production banners.

Working Title is behind the upcoming Universal film "State of Play" and the Robert Downey Jr. drama "The Soloist." (partialdiff)