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J.J. Abrams to Put a Fictional ‘Man on Wire’

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The Hollywood Reporter is reporting this evening that producer extraordinaire J.J. Abrams is working on a deal to produce a feature film version of Colum McCann’s award-winning novel “Let the Great World Spin.”

It tells the story of Philippe Petit’s real-life “artistic crime of the century,” when the notorious French tightrope walker illegally walked on a rope that strung between the towers of the World Trade Center in 1974. This may sound familiar, as it was the subject of the fantastic 2008 documentary Man on Wire, a film that I ranked #1 on my top ten list that year.

“Spin” however follows an ensemble cast of characters struggling throughout New York including a young Irish monk living among prostitutes in the Bronx; a group of mothers mourning their sons, killed in Vietnam, in a Park Avenue apartment; and a 38-year-old grandmother walking the streets with her teenage daughter.

How these folks are linked to Petit’s feat is unclear (unless you’ve read the book), but I’m interested to find out. The project is currently in the script stage, with McCann on to adapt his own book.

Neil Miller is the Founder and Publisher of Film School Rejects. For almost a decade, he has been talking movies on television, the radio, and the Internet.

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