Screenwriter Joan Singleton (Because of Winn Dixie) will adapt the Kathy Charles novel John Belushi is Dead, which she hopes to also produce with her husband Ralph Singleton. The book tells the story of the pink-haired teenager Hilda, who visits the Los Angeles sites of notorious celebrity deaths: “Her life takes an unexpected turn when she meets the reclusive tenant of a dilapidated Echo Park apartment where a silent movie star once committed suicide in a bizarre fashion.” According to Variety, the book mentions the deaths of Belushi, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, and Sharon Tate. Hit the jump to read a plot synopsis for the novel.
Pink-haired Hilda and oddball loner Benji are not your typical teenagers. Instead of going to parties or hanging out at the mall, they comb the city streets and suburban culs-de-sac of Los Angeles for sites of celebrity murder and suicide. Bound by their interest in the macabre, Hilda and Benji neglect their schoolwork and their social lives in favor of prowling the most notorious crime scenes in Hollywood history and collecting odd mementos of celebrity death.
Hilda and Benji’s morbid pastime takes an unexpected turn when they meet Hank, the elderly, reclusive tenant of a dilapidated Echo Park apartment where a silent movie star once stabbed himself to death with a pair of scissors. Hilda feels a strange connection with Hank and comes to care deeply for her paranoid new friend as they watch old movies together and chat the sweltering afternoons away. But when Hank’s downstairs neighbor Jake, a handsome screenwriter, inserts himself into the equation and begins to hint at Hank’s terrible secrets, Hilda must decide what it is she’s come to Echo Park searching for . . . and whether her fascination with death is worth missing out on life. [Amazon]