William H Macy makes The Deal

Those movie folk. They just can’t get enough of stories which poke gentle, satirical fun at the business we call show. The latest tale of Hollywood power plays and hopeless human beings is being adapted from Peter Lefcourt’s novel The Deal. And it’s not only notched up a star, but a co-writer to boot.

William H Macy has agreed to nab the lead as a down-on-his-luck producer who swindles a massive studio into laying down the cash for a $100 million adventure script about Benjamin Disraeli. Who, for those of you who slept through history – or are avoiding the class by reading this on the interwebs – was Prime Minister in the 1860s and then the 1870s. Which might not make him the best candidate for a high concept script, but stick with it… The leading man gets swiped and Macy’s producer makes a secret deal with a studio exec to use the money allocated for the Disraeli project to make an entirely different film. It’s not yet clear if Meg Ryan – who has now signed on the dotted for the movie – will play the executive, but it’s a fair guess.

Macy has spent two years glad-handing every wealthy friend and contact he knows who doesn’t actually work in the industry and has managed to raise the $8 million budget himself. He’s also co-written the script with regular collaborator Steven Schachter, who will call the shots in South Africa this March.