There are more YA adaptations in development right now than we can count, but Fox 2000′s The Fault in Our Stars stands out for a couple of reasons. First, it features no paranormal creatures or dystopian societies whatsoever. Second, the novel by John Green is a critically acclaimed crossover hit — it was even named the best fiction book of 2012 by Time Magazine.

The film version of The Fault in Our Stars already has a Black List script from (500) Days of Summer scribes Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, and now it’s found a director in Writers helmer Josh Boone. Additionally, it’s looking to cast either Shailene Woodley or Hailee Steinfeld in the lead role. Hit the jump for more details.

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At the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, I was blown away by a film called (500) Days of Summer. When I interviewed director Marc Webb in Park City that year, he exclusively revealed that he was working with the 500 Days writing team of Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber on a adaptation of Tim Tharp‘s The Spectacular Now. Then, hot off the success of Summer, Webb got pulled away to do some little superhero movie reboot.

Cut to the 2010 Sundance Film Festival: Smashed became one of the top buzz films of the festival with a critically acclaimed tour de force performance from Mary Elizabeth Winstead and an incredibly raw filmmaking style that put director James Ponsoldt on our must-watch list. So when it was announced that Ponsoldt would be taking over as director on The Spectacular Now, we were excited. And the movie does not disappoint.

The Spectacular Now is everything I hope a Sundance movie to be. It has heart, many laughs, story twists that will jolt you from your seat, and most importantly, the film speaks to a deep truth. It is an honest coming of age film about growing up and facing the great unknown that comes after high school, something we can all remember and relate to. But it tells that story without the forced nostalgia of other Hollywood films.

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Just as we’re enjoying the last of 2012′s cinematic offerings, the latest edition of the Black List has hit the web. The annual survey highlights the hottest unproduced screenplays of the year, as based on the votes of hundreds of executives.

The term “unproduced” is used rather vaguely here. Some of these scripts (like Ivan Reitman‘s Draft Day and Wally Pfister‘s Transcendence) already have a director or star attached, while others are still floating around in search of the right studio or producer. The subjects and honorees range greatly as well. Nazi hunters, Hillary Clinton, the NFL, and time-traveling teens are among the subjects of this year’s winners, and the screenwriters run the gamut from industry newcomers to seasoned pros.

Hit the jump to read the full list.

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Screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber quickly established themselves as new talents to watch with their original dramedy (500) Days of Summer. Since then, though, the pair have shown a distinctly literary bent as they’ve lined up one book adaptation after another: The Spectacular Now, When You Were Mine (called Rosaline in the movie version), and Beginner’s Greek.

Now add to that shelf Where’d You Go Bernadette, based on a serio-comic novel by Maria Semple. Semple’s name may not ring a bell, but you’re probably familiar with her work — she’s a former TV writer who’s worked on Mad About You, Suddenly Susan, and Arrested Development. More details after the jump.

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Hailee Steinfeld, Dave Franco, and Deborah Ann Woll have been offered the leads in Rosaline, a retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet that’s told from the perspective of the girl Romeo ditches to be with Juliet. Michael Sucsy is directing from a script by by (500) Days of Summer writers Scott Neustader and Michael H. Weber, which in turn is an adaptation of Rebecca Serle‘s forthcoming debut novel When You Were Mine. The comedy will use modern-day dialogue in a 16th-century Verona setting.

Woll would play the title character, while Franco and Steinfeld could play Romeo and Juliet, respectively. If Steinfeld signs on it’ll be her second time playing the iconic character, as she’s also lined up to play Juliet for Carlo Carlei’s more straightforward adaptation. Much as I like Steinfeld, her casting here strikes me as a bit off since she’s eleven years younger than Woll and Franco — but maybe that’s part of the story? [Showblitz]

After the jump, Anne Hathaway becomes a producer, and Sawyer from Lost explores the world of competitive international breakdancing. Really.

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Beginner's Greek

Warner Bros Pictures has acquired the big screen adaptation of James Collins‘ novel Beginner’s Greek. I Love You Man, Observe and Report and Green Lantern producer Donald De Line has hired 500 Days of Summer screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber to pen the adaptation. If I had a list of new screenwriters to watch, Neustadter and Weber would definitely be on the top of the list. If you’ve seen 500 Days of Summer, than you know why these guys are getting so much buzz around Hollywood.
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Variety Steals /Film News Scoop?

On Tuesday, we ran an exclusive news scoop about the next project from the director and writers of 500 Days of Summer  — Marc Webb and writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber are developing a big screen adaptation of Tim Tharp’s The Spectacular Now.

Tonight Hollywood tradepaper Variety is running the same bit of news with no source credit to /Film. This isnt a big surprise. This isn’t anything new. The ethics of Variety’s sourcing practices have been well documented. It’s just very disappointing.

Update: I’ve since had contact with Fox who claims that Variety was working on the story before I conducted my interview. But I’m under the belief that its not about who is working on a story first — it’s about who reports it first with verified confirmed information. In the real world, credit goes where credit is due. If The New York Times was working on a story and The Washington Post broke the story first, The Times piece would mention that the news broke to the public via the Washington Post. Yes, I know this isn’t watergate or some huge news story, but this is one story in a pattern of hundreds or thousands. Variety rarely, if ever, credits online sources for breaking news.

500 Days of Summer seems to be the big buzz film of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. Yesterday I got a chance to sit down with director Marc Webb (full interview will be posted later in the week), who slipped a bit of news regarding his possible follow-up. Marc revealed that his is developing a big screen adaptation of Tim Tharp’s The Spectacular Now, which is being written by 500 Days of Summer scribes Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber:

“Neustadter and Weber are adapting a book called The Spectacular Now for Fox Searchlight,” Webb told /Film. “It’s a really fantastic novel about a 17 year old charm monger who drinks too much. And its about how he’s negotiating the world of growing up. It’s a very realistic portrayl of what it’s like to be a kid. And it has a very frank depiction of sex, alcohol and that sort of thing.”

Webb was clear to mention that it’s currently being written, and there is nothing “locked and loaded” for his next project, despite the Hollywood trade papers announcement that he will be making a film called Age of Rage, which was described as “Children of Men meets Lord of the Flies”.

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