Reitman Buys ‘Elliot Allagash’ Rights for Right of Way

Jason Reitman still hasn’t announced what he’ll be directing next after Up in the Air (Slashfilm’s favorite film of the past decade). That trend continues today as The Hollywood Reporter is Hollywood reporting that the writer/director/producer has optioned the film rights for the novel “Elliot Allagash,” written by Simon Rich to bring in under his Right of Way Films.

While we’re probably not going to see “Catcher in the Rye” soon, at least we can take comfort in knowing that at least one prep school satire will hit the big screen soon enough. The novel uses the tried-and-true Unlikely Friendship That Leads to a Makeover trope that we’ve seen from My Fair Lady to She’s All That, but it involves a strange boy and the rich (not retarded) cool kid Elliot.

Offering a bit of insight, and a little bias is Seth Meyer (who you’ll know as SNL head writer and Simon Rich’s boss) and his book review:

And it would be enough if Simon just spent his book examining the status ladder of Glendale Academy but fortunately there is so much more. Because the title character, Elliot Allagash is one of the best villains I’ve ever encountered in fiction. By age thirteen his offenses include “vandalism, truancy, unprovoked violence, drunkenness, hiring an imposter to take a standardized test, and blackmail.” In a classic deal-with-the-devil arrangement Elliot offers to make Seymour, our hero, the most popular kid in the school with the simple condition that Seymour must do everything Elliot says. What makes this journey delightful is that Elliot is extremely rich.”

There’s no word yet on whether Reitman will direct it himself or if someone else will take the helm, but if he doesn’t, it sounds like a great opportunity for Charlie Bartlett director Jon Poll.

Rich will be adapting the book himself, and, contrary to the image above, he is not 14 years old.

What do you think?

A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

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