November 6, 2009 / 4:41 AM / 10 years ago

"High Fidelity" writer, director may reteam

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Call it higher fidelity.

Director Stephen Frears and screenwriter D.V. DeVincentis, who teamed up on the John Cusack breakout “High Fidelity,” could be joining forces again.

Frears is loosely attached to direct “Lay the Favorite,” a comedy-drama set in the world of geeky gamblers. DeVincentis is writing a script based on Beth Raymer’s memoir “Lay the Favorite, Take the Dog,” which Random House will publish in the spring. The film is set up at Focus Features.

The book revolves around a group of fiftysomething math geeks who figure out how to work the sports book system in Las Vegas for their own profit. It centers on a woman in her early thirties who has made a series of bad choices but achieves a redemption of sorts when she meets and then becomes involved with the gamblers.

“It’s a less violent, less sketchy version of the mob,” DeVincentis said of the colorful gamblers, who are based on real people. “This is the version of 50-year-old math geeks from Queens in basketball shorts who have pet guinea pigs.”

Both Frears and DeVincentis solidified their reputation with “High Fidelity,” the 2000 adaptation of Nick Hornby’s book about the relationship struggles of a man-child who sees the world in terms of lists and musical preferences.

While the projects have plenty of differences, both films deal with the tribulations of adulthood as well as with the appeal and perils of living in an insular world. Like the record store snobs of “High Fidelity,” the gamblers of “Favorite” “have an intense pride in a very specific expertise — and a lack of socialization,” DeVincentis said.

Frears (“The Queen”) is currently working on the coming-home drama “Tamara Drewe.” DeVincentis recently signed on to write “You Are a Miserable Excuse for a Hero,” a project based on a “Choose Your Own Adventure” novel.

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