Sunday, January 22, 2012

Harlan Coben Writing Screenplay Adaptation of His New Thriller Stay Close

Stay Close by Harlan Coben

Crime novelist Harlan Coben and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan (Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Bodyguard) are working together to write a film adaptation of Coben's upcoming stand-alone thriller Stay Close, which they expect to have completed to coincide with the publication of the book in mid-March.

Despite the popularity of Coben's novels, only one of his books has been made into a film, the French-produced Tell No One. (Warner Bros. has since picked up the rights to produce an English-language version.) The author acknowledges that he's trying something a little different here. "Every one of my books has either been optioned or is under option," he says. "And it seems to me that this situation with Larry isn't much different than an option deal where a producer gets somebody to acquire, then has a script written and then something goes wrong."

Stay Close follows three people living lives they never wanted. Megan is a suburban soccer mom who once upon a time walked on the wild side. Now she's got two kids, a perfect husband, a picket fence, and a growing sense of dissatisfaction. Ray used to be a talented documentary photographer, but at age forty he finds himself in a dead-end job posing as a paparazzo pandering to celebrity-obsessed rich kids. Jack is a detective who can't let go of a cold case — a local husband and father disappeared seventeen years ago — and spends the anniversary every year visiting a house frozen in time, the missing man's family still waiting, his slippers left by the recliner as if he might show up any moment to step into them.

Hiding secrets that even those closest to them would never suspect, the three will find that the past doesn't recede. Even as the terrible consequences of long-ago events crash together in the present and threaten to ruin lives, they will come to the startling realization that they may not want to forget the past at all. And as each confronts the dark side of the American Dream — the boredom of a nice suburban life, the excitement of temptation, the desperation and hunger that can lurk behind even the prettiest facades — they will discover the hard truth that the line between one kind of life and another can be as whisper-thin as a heartbeat.

(Related article: Deadline.)

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