What’s writer-director Greg Mottola been up to lately? After a trifecta of films in “Superbad,” “Adventureland” and “Paul,” the writer-director was noted to be adapting Leanne Shaption‘s ‘Important Artifacts’ for Brad Pitt and Natalie Portman, before turning to television to helm the pilot for Aaron Sorkin‘s “The Newsroom,” which will air next month We now have another project to add to the mix with Mottola teaming with literature-loving “Social Network” producer Scott Rudin and Sony for an adaptation of “The Virgin Suicides” author Jeffrey Eugenides‘ “The Marriage Plot.”
Mottola will produce and adapt Eugenides’ novel although, at this stage, it’s unclear whether he will helm the project — Variety simply speculates, noting that he doesn’t have anything on the horizon, implying it might be on his radar. The story does sound like something in Mottola’s wheelhouse as it’s an ’80s-set story of a bookish English major caught up in the affections of two men and their journey into the post-college world.
Trailers for Mottola’s ‘Newsroom’ pilot have been predictably excellent and, even though the show has been picked up, it looks like Mottola is only directing two episodes, which shouldn’t tie him up. Last we heard, Mottola was still working on the Charlie Kaufman-esque ‘Important Artifacts’ but — like this project — was taken as a writing assignment and potential directorial vehicle. So what’s next? Who knows, we just can’t wait to see Mottola tackling new material again. Below is an extended synopsis of the much-acclaimed ‘Marriage Plot,’ courtesy of Amazon.
It’s the early 1980s the country is in a deep recession, and life after college is harder than ever. In the cafe’s on College Hill, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels.
As Madeleine tries to understand why it became laughable to read writers like Cheever and Updike, who wrote about the suburbia Madeleine and most of her friends had grown up in, in favor of reading the Marquis de Sade, who wrote about deflowering virgins in eighteenth-century France, real life, in the form of two very different guys, intervenes. Leonard Bankhead, charismatic loner, college Darwinist, and lost Portland boy suddenly turns up in a semiotics seminar, and soon Madeleine finds herself in a highly charged erotic and intellectual relationship with him. At the same time, her old friend Mitchell Grammaticus who”s been reading Christian mysticism and generally acting strange resurfaces, obsessed with the idea that Madeleine is destined to be his mate.
Over the next year, as the members of the triangle in this amazing, spellbinding novel graduate from college and enter the real world, events force them to reevaluate everything they learned in school. Leonard and Madeleine move to a biology Laboratory on Cape Cod, but can’t escape the secret responsible for Leonard’s seemingly inexhaustible energy and plunging moods. And Mitchell, traveling around the world to get Madeleine out of his mind, finds himself face-to-face with ultimate questions about the meaning of life, the existence of God, and the true nature of love. [Variety]