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Universal snatches up con woman story from Gone Girl’s Gillian Flynn

Movie executives disguised as party-goers nonchalantly mill around behind author Gillian Flynn, waiting for her to drop a new bit of prose they can dive upon and turn into a movie. (Photo: Getty Images)

Now that Hollywood has put at least a token effort into adapting all three of Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn’s so-far published novels, its hit-hungry executives are voraciously moving on to the author’s short fiction in their search of new and buzzworthy material to adapt. To that end, and after what Variety is reporting as a “heated bidding war,” Universal has acquired the rights to “The Grownup,” a story about a fake psychic that Flynn wrote in 2015.

Originally published in the George R.R. Martin-edited anthology Rogues, under the title “What Do You Do?”, the Edgar-winning story centers on a former sex worker who claims to be able to read auras. The faux-clairvoyant ends up getting involved in the life of a desperate woman and her “disturbing step-son,” as she attempts to exorcise the spirits supposedly infesting the woman’s home.

Gossip Girl writer—and, thus, Flynn’s colleague in the Society For People Who Write Things With “Girl” And An Adjective That Starts With “G” In The Title (or SCUBA)—Natalie Krinsky will adapt the screenplay; that’s in contrast to David Fincher’s 2014 film, where Flynn’s adaptation of her own work earned her a Golden Globe nomination.

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But then, the bestselling author is pretty busy of late; she’s been reported as working on both a version of Hamlet, and a heist movie for 12 Years A Slaves Steve McQueen. Also, she probably needs to get another novel out there some time soon, before movie execs start digging through her trash for scribbled-on cocktail napkins in their desperate search for more projects to adapt.

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