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Last time we checked in on Stephen Daldry‘s adaptation of the Jonathan Safran Foer novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Daldry had just officially signed on, though he’d been working on the project with producer Scott Rudin for some time.

Now Warner Bros. and Paramount are close to a deal to co-produce the film, and Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks are attached to star in the project.

Indiewire reports the news, which has been floating around for a while. Both actors have been spoken of in conjunction with the film, but this is the most serious news we’ve had on the adaptation since Daldry officially signed on.

(And note that the script is by Eric Roth, whose previous script The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was also a Paramount / WB co-production.)

Meanwhile, I’m still of two minds about this one. I love the book, which details the attempts of a nine-year old boy to uncover stories about his father, who was killed in the World Trade Center on 9/11. But I remain unconvinced about the combination of Roth and Daldry — neither seems right to ignite the material, which could so easy be dryly melodramatic. The key ingredient will be who plays the boy, Oskar Schell. Cast that role properly, and the film might work.

Oskar Schell is a nine-year-old amateur inventor, jewelry designer, astrophysicist, tambourine player and pacifist. Oskar turns his naïvely precocious vocabulary to the understanding of historical tragedy, as he searches New York for the lock that matches a mysterious key left by his father when he was killed in the September 11 attacks, a quest that intertwines with the story of his grandparents, whose lives were blighted by the firebombing of Dresden. Foer embellishes the narrative with evocative graphics, including photographs, colored highlights and passages of illegibly overwritten text, and takes his unique flair for the poetry of miscommunication to occasionally gimmicky lengths, like a two-page soliloquy written entirely in numerical code.

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