Mike Medavoy’s Phoenix Pictures has inked a seven figure deal with John Grisham to turn his latest bestselling novel “Playing for Pizza” into a feature. Medavoy declined to comment on the exact figure Phoenix forked out to Grisham but did confirm the rights were “expensive.”
Medavoy will produce the project along with Phoenix’s Arnie Messer and David Thwaites.
Story centers on a washed-up NFL quarterback who finds a new perspective on life and a love for all things Italian when his agent lands him a deal to play with a semi-professional team in Parma, Italy.
Phoenix execs are scouting for a writer to adapt the book.
“The next thing we’ll do is get a writer that John Grisham and we feel can pull this off,” Medavoy told Variety. “The project reminds me of some of the films I’ve done in the past like ‘Hoosiers’ and ‘Bull Durham.’ It has that heart and sensuality.”
Medavoy has a clutch of high-profile projects in the pipeline, including Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island” with Leonardo DiCaprio now in production for Paramount, and the Weinstein Co.‘s “Shanghai,” which is lensing in London.
Grisham is repped by the Gernert Co.
Sources: Variety.com, THR.com