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Stranger than Fiction; Jonah Hill and James Franco to Both Play Finkel in ‘True Story’

Brad Pitt’s prod co. Plan B appear to have pulled True Story from the back-burner – the book that is described as “a spellbinding tale of murder, love, and deceit with a deeply personal inquiry into the slippery nature of truth” hit store shelves in 2005 has (according to Deadline) found its cat & mouse/victim & victimizers in a pair of A-listers.

Brad Pitt’s prod co. Plan B appear to have pulled True Story from the back-burner – the book that is described as “a spellbinding tale of murder, love, and deceit with a deeply personal inquiry into the slippery nature of truth” hit store shelves in 2005 has (according to Deadline) found its cat & mouse/victim & victimizers in a pair of A-listers. Jonah Hill and James Franco would portray the infamous pairing of Michael Finkel and Christian Longo and unknown helmer Rupert Goold is assigned to the director’s chair. Team Plan B are looking for more coin and a studio before heading into what could be a production start date sometime in 2012.

Gist: This is Finkel’s story of being fired from the New York Times for falsifying parts of a profile of young boys working on West African cocoa plantations. He then formed a bond with murder suspect Christian Longo, who had stolen Finkel’s identity and was hiding under the name Michael Finkel in Mexico when he was arrested for the murders of his family.

Worth Noting: Back in 05′, the project originally had helmer Kevin MacDonald on board to direct.

Do We Care?: Finkel’s tale certainly contains strong human interest elements and we’re rooting for Hill and Franco in what could prove to be difficult roles — but the potential for a Hollywood spin on the tale (Paramount Pictures dropped the rights a while back) and an unproven director at the helm makes this a dicey proposition.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at IONCINEMA.com (founded in 2000). Eric splits his time between his home base in Montreal, NYC, and is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. Top 3 from 2016: Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt), Things to Come (Mia Hansen-Løve), Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade)

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