Hollywood, eager as always to make a film adaptation out of any coherent string of words, has three news projects in the works. Apparently, working on Yellow Submarine gave Robert Zemeckis a thirst for underwater hijinks. According to Variety, Zemeckis is set to direct the film adaptation of the yet-to-be-released young adult novel, Dark Life. The book, written by Northwestern screenwriting professor Kat Falls, is set in a future where rising sea levels have pushed much of Earth's population to live on the ocean floor. In the novel, a young boy and girl struggle to uncover a government conspiracy, and they must also come to terms with the boy's "Dark Gift," whatever that means. There's no official word on whether Dark Life will use Zimeckis' unique motion-capture style again, but given that he hasn't deviated from it in years, and the story is set in a futuristic underwater crazyscape, it's hard to imagine he wouldn't.

Variety also reports Focus Features has plans for Peter Hedges' novel The Heights, with Hedges signed on to adapt, direct, and produce. The story centers on a family whose lives are changed by the arrival of a wealthy couple next door. Hedges isn't quite a household name, but the last time he adapted one of his novels, it was What's Eating Gilbert Grape?, and that worked out pretty well. Hedges' resume as a director include only Pieces Of April and Dan In Real Life, both of which he wrote as well. Now, just so long as Hedges doesn't let Dane Cook in another movie, The Heights should be just fine.

Finally, SlashFilm has the story that Magnolia Pictures purchased the rights to the documentary Freakonomics, with plans for a fall theatrical release. The film, based on the hugely popular book by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, contains segments from a veritable who's who of documentarians. The list includes the often controversial, always intriguing Morgan Spurlock, and Seth Gordon, director of the almost too excellent The King of Kong. Freakonomics is set to clouse out the Tribeca Film Festival, and based on the popularity of the initial book, odds are good that fall release will bring it to a theater near you.

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