You look at the bio of author/sometime screenwriter Michael Cunningham and you figure this guy should probably be teaching at Columbia or hosting his own high-brow literary talk show on PBS or banging someone akin to Marilyn Monroe Arthur Miller-style (although Cunningham plays for the other team, so maybe Marilyn Manson or someone…it’s all good). He’s got a Pulitzer Prize for The Hours, the book that was turned into the movie where Nicole Kidman was given a special Oscar for Best Nose. He also has a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and has won the Whiting Writers’ Award. Now admittedly, half that stuff I’m not exactly up on, but that’s still the kind of primo shit with which people falsely pad their resumes with, only in Cunningham’s case, he isn’t lying. He’s also written a couple of screenplays, including A Home at the End of the World, which he adapted from his own novel.
So it’s kind of a surprise that the guy is an admitted genre junkie and has just landed a deal for his script, Beautiful Girl with Screen Gems. The story concerns a shy but brainy high school girl who returns for senior
year after having slimmed down six dress sizes. She finds herself
flirting with the handsome English lit teacher, but the mutual crush
turns deadly when the teacher’s obsession with the student compels him
to exact maniacal revenge on everyone who was cruel to her.
Not exactly the typical kind of subject a guy with Cunninham’s credentials might produce. Of the dichotomy of his writing, Cunningham said, “While I was writing about Virginia Wolff, my mind was never far removed from the idea of girls in bikinis being hacked up by guys wearing hockey masks, and I vowed that if I ever had a good idea, I would write one of these scary movies.” Cunningham also added, “This summer, I will finish a novel where nobody gets anything gouged
out of them, but my plan is to then write another idea I have for an
actual monster movie. As it turns out, we sometimes find we can do more
than one thing in our lives.”
Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher are producing, but there’s no casting nor directing info yet. You know, Cunningham could be onto a whole new thing. Now, if we could just get Mamet to throw down on an installment of say, Friday the 13th, we could definitely have something here.