Hard Case Crime's "Say It With Bullets" Optioned By Caribou Films; Blaine Novak ("They All Laughed," "Strangers Kiss") to Write and Produce

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Hard Case Crime's March 2006 title -- Richard Powell's "Say It With Bullets" -- has been sold to the movies; the screenplay is being written by Blaine Novak, a writer/director who has worked with Audrey Hepburn, Jack Nicholson, and Peter Bogdanovich. Author Richard Powell is no stranger to the movies -- Woody Allen based "Bananas" on one of Powell's books, Elvis Presley based "Follow That Dream" on another, and Robert Vaughn got an Oscar nomination for his co-starring role with Paul Newman in a third. But Powell's novels had largely been forgotten until "Say It With Bullets" was reissued earlier this year, making it available for the first time in 50 years.

Hard Case Crime announced today that Caribou Films has optioned the movie rights to Richard Powell’s classic comic crime novel "Say It With Bullets" and has attached veteran filmmaker Blaine Novak as screenwriter and producer. Films written by Mr. Novak include "They All Laughed," directed by Peter Bogdanovich and starring Audrey Hepburn, and "Strangers Kiss," starring Peter Coyote. Mr. Novak also wrote and directed "Good to Go," starring Art Garfunkel, as well as "Blue Champagne," produced by Jack Nicholson.

Originally published in 1953 and reissued for the first time in half a century by Hard Case Crime earlier this year, "Say It With Bullets" tells the story of Bill Wayne, an army officer who tries to shut down a smuggling operation and winds up shot in the back and left for dead by one of his fellow soldiers. When he recovers, Bill sets off to find out which of his former army buddies was behind the shooting, using a bus tour of the west as camouflage. But when the beautiful tour guide stumbles onto Bill’s scheme and a mysterious figure starts picking off the suspects at each stop along the way, events spiral out of control.

" 'Say It With Bullets' combines the best elements of great comedy and great suspense storytelling,” said Blaine Novak. “It’s got an irresistible plot, characters you just love, fantastic dialogue, and a breathtaking climax at Yosemite National Park that’s just begging to be put on film. This is one hell of a book and I’m very excited to work on bringing it to the screen.”

In addition to "Say It With Bullets," Richard Powell wrote the best-selling “Arab and Andy” mystery novels in the 1940s, about a husband-and-wife team of crime solvers, as well as "Don Quixote USA," which was the original inspiration for Woody Allen’s movie "Bananas." He also wrote "The Philadelphian," which was filmed as "The Young Philadelphians" starring Paul Newman and Robert Vaughn (who received an Oscar nomination for his role), and "Pioneer, Go Home!," which was the basis for Elvis Presley’s movie "Follow That Dream." Rights to Richard Powell’s works are controlled by his daughter, Dorothy Powell Quigley, and represented by Curtis Brown, Ltd.

“We’re proud to have played a role in bringing this book, and Richard Powell’s work in general, back into the spotlight where it belongs,” said Charles Ardai, founder and editor of Hard Case Crime, who will also serve as an executive producer on the film. “How often does a book written more than 50 years ago make you laugh out loud? If the book in question is 'Say It With Bullets,' the answer is many, many times.”

Launched in September 2004, the Edgar Award-winning Hard Case Crime imprint revives the storytelling and visual style of the great pulp paperbacks of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. The line features an exciting mix of lost pulp masterpieces from some of the most acclaimed crime writers of all time and gripping new novels from the next generation of great hardboiled authors, all with new painted covers in the grand pulp style. Authors range from current best-sellers such as Lawrence Block, Max Allan Collins, Ed McBain, and Donald E. Westlake to Golden Age stars like Erle Stanley Gardner (creator of “Perry Mason”), Donald Hamilton (creator of “Matt Helm”), Wade Miller (author of "Touch of Evil"), and Charles Williams (author of "Dead Calm"). In 2005, Hard Case Crime published "The Colorado Kid," a new book by Stephen King, who said, “This is an exciting line and I’m delighted to be part of it.”

Since its debut, Hard Case Crime has been the subject of enthusiastic coverage on CBS Sunday Morning and in a wide range of publications including The New York Times, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Vanity Fair, Playboy, Reader’s Digest, U.S. News & World Report, BusinessWeek, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Houston Chronicle, New York magazine, the New York Post and Daily News, Salon, Publishers Weekly, Parade, and USA Weekend. In The Stranger Neal Pollack wrote, “Hard Case may be the best new American publisher to appear in the last decade.” The Chicago Sun-Times wrote, “Hard Case Crime is doing a wonderful job…These modern ‘penny dreadfuls’ are worth every dime.” And Publishers Weekly wrote, “They do write ‘em like they used to.”

For more information about Hard Case Crime or "Say It With Bullets," visit http://www.HardCaseCrime.com.

Caribou Films is a division of Caribou Companies in Boulder, Colorado. James William Guercio, the chief executive of Caribou Companies, will be an executive producer on the film. Mr. Guercio produced and directed "Electra Glide in Blue," the American entry in the 1973 Cannes Film Festival, and in 1979 produced "Second-Hand Hearts," directed by Hal Ashby. Mr. Guercio also won two Grammy Awards for his work as a music producer, and his legendary Caribou Ranch studio recorded artists including The Beach Boys, Chicago, Phil Collins, Earth Wind and Fire, Amy Grant, Billy Joel, Elton John, Carole King, John Lennon, and U2.

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