Sean Penn in Talks to Play Max Perkins, the EDITOR OF GENIUS Behind Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Wolfe

     August 3, 2010


Sean Penn is in negotiations to star in a biopic about the life of Max Perkins, the influential editor behind such literary icons as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Thomas Wolfe.  The role would represent the latest in a series of collaborations between the two-time Oscar winner and director Bill Pohlad, who is credited as producer on Penn’s 2007 directorial effort Into the Wild as well as the upcoming Penn starrers Fair Game and The Tree of Life.

According to THR, the film will center on the relationship between Perkins and a young Wolfe, “though the script is peopled with literary characters.”  John Logan (The Aviator) penned the screenplay, based in part on A. Scott Berg’s National Book Award-winning 1978 biography Max Perkins: Editor of Genius.  Hit the jump for a synopsis.

max_perkins_editor_of_genius_a_scott_berg_coverA brief synopsis for Editor of Genius:

The driving force behind such literary superstars as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Thomas Wolfe, Max Evarts Perkins was the most admired book editor in the world. From the first major novel he edited (Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise) to the last (James Jones’s bestselling From Here to Eternity), Perkins revolutionized American literature. Perkins was tirelessly committed to nurturing talent no matter how young or unproven the writer.

Filled with colorful anecdotes about everything from Perkins’s struggles to convince the old guard at Scribners to publish his visionary (and often controversial) authors to his falling out with one of his most brilliant discoveries, Thomas Wolfe, MAX PERKINS reveals with insight and humor the professional and personal life of one of the most legendary figures in the history of American publishing. Given unprecedented access to the correspondence between Perkins and his writers, Berg has fashioned a compellingly thorough biography that is as entertaining as it is informative. [Amazon]

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