PAPERBOY: Hollywood Options Ex-CP Editor’s Novel

blondeduane.jpgBY AMY Z. QUINN Straight from the City Paper to Phillywood, Duane Swierczyinski tells me his novel The Blonde may be headed for the big screen. Actress Michelle Monaghan has optioned the rights to film the 2006 sci-fi thrilla, and we could easily see her playing the titular badass babe with a killer kiss. Though who plays Jack Eisley, the bitterly almost-divorced journalist? And will we find out through on-location shooting where that effed-up masturbation club really is? Here’s the official announcement:

Film rights to Duane Swierczynski’s THE BLONDE, about a soon-to-be-divorced young father who is poisoned by a beautiful woman at an airport bar, and told if he wants to live, he must stay by her side for the next 12 hours, optioned by “Mission Impossible: III” and “Gone Baby Gone” co-star Michelle Monaghan, with screenwriter Paul Leyden attached, by Angela Cheng Caplan on behalf of DHS Literary Inc.

Nosy Questions And Shameless Name-Dropping After The Jump!

AZQ: I’m thrilled for you. So, how much? You know I have to ask.

DS: The priests at North Catholic taught us that it was sinful to speak of such things.

But I will say that most options are on the very modest side; the purchase price is what matters, and that only happens when the cameras start rolling. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

AZQ: And what happens now?

DS: Well, Paul Leyden is busy writing the screenplay. We met a while back and killed a whole Sunday at Triumph Brewery, talking about the book and movies and stuff. It was a blast. Though I think I’m still slightly hungover…

One funny thing: Paul’s a former soap star — he played “Simon Frasier” on AS THE WORLD TURNS. We had him over for dinner one night, and later the news got back to my mother and sisters. All of whom, it turns out, are big AS THE WORLD TURNS fans. They were like, “You had WHO over for dinner!?” It was like I had Barack Obama over for burgers, and didn’t tell them.

But I’m really excited about checking out Paul’s screenwriting debut. He co-wrote THE FACTORY, which is filming now with John Cusack in the lead role. It sounds fantastic.

AZQ: Have you met with her, and if so, can you see her playing Kelly White or do you see her more interested in producing or whatever? And who plays Jack Eisely, now that Owen Wilson’s too busy with Marley & Me?

DS: I haven’t met with Michelle, but we’ve talked on the phone. And yeah, I think she’d be the perfect Blonde. I’ve been a huge fan ever since KISS KISS BANG BANG, one of the most underrated movies of the past five years.

No comment on Owen Wilson. Though maybe his brother is free?

Amy Z. Quinn

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