20th Century Fox have picked up the spec script by Helen Childress -- who wrote "Reality Bites" -- as a project for Stiller to develop and direct. Described as being in the vein of "Rosemary's Baby" (!) the story follows the basic outline of Wharton's novel, about a young woman who is born in a poor rural community, but is sent into a bigger town after her father is convicted of manslaughter. Here she earns the attentions of and begins an affair with a man who gives her the present of a brooch, but doesn't tell her he's already engaged. And this where the story diverges, as the brooch will have some kind of power that forces her to look at her past. Brooches, bonnets, murder...Ben Stiller? Sure man, why not.
It's certainly a new direction for the funnyman who hasn't been shy about wanting to do stuff other than family films and comedies, but horror is definitely something he hasn't really shown an inclination for before. He's still going to star and direct "The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty" for Fox and he's juggling a few other things as well, including a biopic of David O. Selznick being penned by Oren Moverman, as well as "Rentaghost." But this is still the biggest WTF news of the week and needless to say, we're intrigued. [Deadline]