Sean Penn is in talks to star in Genius, the story of famed literary editor Max Perkins, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Although the project has had several false starts over the years – including one incarnation that had Michael London producing and Lawrence Kasdan (Wyatt Earp) directing – the current involvement of director Bill Pohlad and friend Sean Penn puts the project on surer ground.
While Penn has not yet officially signed on for Genius, he and Pohlad have a long history of working together. Pohlad produced and helped finance Penn’s Into the Wild in 2007, and is set to executive produce on Fair Game and Tree of Life – two upcoming movies that star the actor.
John Logan‘s script is an adaptation of National Book Award-winning author A. Scott Berg’s 2008 biography “Max Perkins: Editor of Genius,” which centers around the career of the titular eccentric editor-in-chief of New York publishing house Scribner, who published the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Earnest Hemingway, and other literary luminaries. The film adaptation would focus on the relationship between the fedora-clad Perkins and a young Thomas Wolfe.
Although Pohlad himself hasn’t directed a feature film since 1990, sticking to corporate gigs and documentaries of late, his company River Road has been instrumental in producing movies like Brokeback Mountain and The Runaways.