Warner Bros. has scooped up the rights to David Liss’ novel A Conspiracy of Paper. Ridley and Tony Scott will produce the film through their Scott Free production company. Published in 2000, the novel is a mystery period tale set in London leading up to the bursting of the South Sea Bubble in 1720. Variety reports that Danny Strong (Recount), has been hired to write the screenplay.
Strong recently appeared the latest season of Mad Men as the incapable Danny Siegel. After being nominated for an Emmy for writing Recount, Strong has been a hot commodity lately. He wrote The Butler for Lee Daniels (Precious), is currently rewriting the alien-invasion film EDF for Sam Raimi, and is set to reteam with Recount director Jay Roach on HBO’s Game Change. Hit the jump to read a full synopsis for Liss’ novel.
Here’s the synopsis for A Conspiracy of Paper (via Wikipedia):
The novel’s story is told in the form of a first-person memoir penned by the elderly Benjamin Weaver (born Lienzo), London-born son of Portuguese Sephardic Jewish parents. After a successful career in bare-knuckle boxing, Weaver has found a new calling as a ‘thief-taker’—roughly equivalent to a modern private investigator. Believing that his estranged father died in a tragic accident, Weaver is shocked when a prospective client claims that the ‘accident’ was, in fact, murder. Weaver’s subsequent investigation involves him in the new London financial world of banks, stocks, speculation, violence and scandal leading up to the world’s first stock-market crash, the South Sea Bubble. In order to solve the mystery, he must learn the inner workings of this new world of paper money. The murder investigation moves toward its conclusion in lock-step with the accelerating frenzy of the Bubble’s final days.
A sub-plot involves Benjamin’s gradual reintegration, after years of estrangement, into his family’s community and traditions. This gives the author the opportunity to introduce the Lienzo family, and their struggles to survive and prosper as Jews and foreigners in 18th century London. Benjamin finds added incentive to rejoin his family when he meets the beautiful Miriam, widow of his cousin and now living in his uncle Miguel’s household.