September 02, 1996 12:00 PM


Mortals buy books; movie stars buy the rights to books. After Tom Cruise read a manuscript of David Ignatius’s CIA thriller The Man in the Mirror, he got Paramount Pictures to secure the movie rights for a cool $1.1 million. Celebrity reading also led to these recent deals:

Primary Colors, by Anonymous (Joe Klein)

Plot: Bill Clinton-like governor runs for President.

Deal: Director Mike Nichols bought rights, signed Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson to star.

Roustabout, by Michelle Chalfoun

Plot: Runaway finds a home as a circus roadie.

Deal: Fox 2000 optioned rights for Winona Ryder.

A Change of Heart, by Claire Sylvia with William Novak

Plot: Transplant recipient takes on traits of donor.

Deal: Sally Fields snagged rights, set to star.

Mothers, by Jax Lowell

Plot: Two lesbian mothers struggle for acceptance in New York City in 1965.

Deal: Goldie Hawn’s company optioned rights, Goldie gets the lead.

Before Women Had Wings, by Connie May Fowler

Plot: The life of a poor, religious 6-year-old in rural Florida.

Deal: Oprah Winfrey optioned rights, plans to star.

How to Marry a Black Man, by Cassandra Cato-Louis and Monique Jellerette deJongh

Plot: Two professional women try to get married.

Deal: Whitney Houston optioned rights.

Lily White, by Susan Isaacs

Plot: Criminal lawyer is hired by a scam artist.

Deal: Caravan Pictures bought rights for Whoopi Goldberg, who will star.

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