Sean Penn in talks to play literary editor

By Borys Kit Borys Kit – Wed Aug 4, 9:31 pm ET
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Sean Penn is in negotiations to star in a film about the eccentric literary editor who oversaw the release of works by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway.

“Genius” is based on A. Scott Berg’s National Book Award-winning 2008 biography, “Max Perkins: Editor of Genius.” The movie will focus on the relationship between the fedora-wearing editor-in-chief at New York publishing house Scribner and a young Thomas Wolfe, though the script is peopled with literary characters.

It will be directed by Bill Pohlad, who hasn’t shot a movie since the 1990 indie “Old Explorers.” In recent years, he has focused on producing films through his River Road banner, including “Brokeback Mountain,” “The Runaways” and the Penn-directed “Into the Wild.”

Pohlad also is an executive producer on the political thriller “Fair Game” and Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life,” two upcoming pictures that star Penn.

Penn, who has not committed to “Genius,” this month begins shooting “This Must Be the Place,” a thriller about a retired rock star looking for an ex-Nazi war criminal who executed his father.

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