With Steven Spielberg on the producer’s chair, Sam Mendes and DreamWorks have acquired screen rights to the Gay Talese article “The Voyeur’s Motel.” It became the talk of the town, when The New Yorker’s April 11 article became a big hit.
This project is the second big deal this week for Spielberg’s company, after it was reported that he will next direct for Amblin Entertainment’s “The Kidnapping Of Edgardo Mortara.” It is an adaptation of the book by Pulitzer Prize-winner David Kertzer.
Mark Rylance will star as Pope Pius IX in “The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara.” He won the Best Supporting Oscar for Spielberg’s “Bridge Of Spies” and also plays the title character in Spielberg’s “The BFG.”
“The Voyeur’s Motel” is based on the article and a book that Talese has written. The book bears the same title and will be published July 12 by Grove Press.
Mendes directed the last two James Bond blockbusters “Skyfall” and “Spectre.” He is now back to DreamWorks where he made his feature directing debut “American Beauty” followed by “The Road to Perdition” and “Revolutionary Road.”
“American Beauty” won the Academy Award for Best Picture, says Variety.
According to Deadline, DreamWorks won the rights over others, who wanted to turn the property into a film, others for television. Mendes will be producing the film through his Neal Street banner.
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CAA brokered the auction and represented Mendes and Talese. Mendes is also represented by attorney Melanie Cook of Ziffren Brittenham and Talese is represented for publishing by Lynn Nesbit of Janklow & Nesbit.
The story centers around a Colorado resident Gerald Foos. He opened a hotel so he could watch guests having sex.
Foos had reached out to Talese in 1980 with the following note:
“Dear Mr. Talese: Since learning of your long awaited study of coast-to-coast sex in America, which will be included in your soon to be published book, ‘Thy Neighbor’s Wife,’ I feel I have important information that I could contribute to its contents or to contents of a future book.”