EXCLUSIVE: Just because Brad Pitt had the good sense to bow out of the newspaper industry drama State of Play doesn’t mean he’s not infatuated with the ink-stained wretches who practice the craft. Using their development deal with Reliance, Pitt and his Plan B partner Dede Gardner have acquired screen rights to The Imperfectionist, the Tom Rachman novel published this spring by Dial Press. The book, about the inner workings of an English-language newspaper in Rome, was brokered by CAA. It is one of several projects acquired for Plan B by Reliance since the India-based giant staked the company to a deal that gives Plan B another option when home studio Paramount Pictures says no.
Reliance makes quick buying decisions and lets its producers move quickly. For instance, Pitt and Gardner just hired Alfonso Gomez-Rejon to write and direct its recently acquired Jonathan Lethem novel Fortress of Solitude, also bought with Reliance money. Gomez-Rejon is getting his writing and directing shot after serving as second unit director on the Plan B-produced Eat Pray Love and Babel.
The Imperfectionists was written by Rachman, a former wire service reporter whose stint in the AP office in Rome informs his tale. Sure, the declining role of print dailies adds to the angst, but the focus is on the reporters and editors and the collision of their personal lives and professional ambitions.