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Universal Conducts Search Party; Eye Jonathan Levine for ‘Little Girl Lost’

Jonathan Levine who parlayed his debut film, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane into not one, but two theatrical deals (we’re still awaiting its release) then moved onto The Wackness and next year’s Black List favorite in Summit Ent.’s Live With It, is most probably lined up to make some serious dough for his next project.

Jonathan Levine who parlayed his debut film, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane into not one, but two theatrical deals (we’re still awaiting its release) then moved onto The Wackness and next year’s Black List favorite in Summit Ent.’s Live With It, is most probably lined up to make some serious dough for his next project. The studios have come calling and Universal is attaching the director to Little Girl Lost – moving Levine into a different genre. The Wrap reports that Marc Platt and Adam Siegel will produce for Marc Platt Productions with Mason Novick. Scribe Michael Bacall (2001’s Manic and more recently, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) is penning the project. A casting call would go out to a young male lead somewhere in the 25-35 range and a girl next door who would go onto turning into a sexual object type.

Based on Richard Aleas’ crime novel – Aleas is the pen name of Charles Ardai, the Edgar Award-winning author and founder of Hard Case Crime, which published the novel in 2004. A 2007 sequel, “Songs of Innocence,” was called “an instant classic” by the Washington Post in addition to being named one of the best books of the year by Publisher’s Weekly.

From the book publisher: this is described as the story of John Blake and Miranda Sugarman dated in high school, but after graduation they went their separate ways: he stayed in New York City and became a private investigator while she moved to the midwest and settled down to a safe, respectable life as an eye doctor. Or so he thought — until the day, ten years later, when he opened the Daily News and saw Miranda’s photo staring out at him under the headline “STRIPPER MURDERED.” John wants to find out how Miranda ended up stripping for a living. What happened to Miranda’s college roommate, Jocelyn, who also dropped out when Miranda did? And just how was Miranda involved with small-time drug dealer Murco Khachadurian? The closer John gets to the answers, the more dangerous and violent the case becomes, until a bloody assault on someone close to him leads John to a shocking discovery and a shattering face-off with the person responsible.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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