J.J. Abrams likes walking on tightropes. Witness the chances he's taken with TV's 'Lost' and 'Fringe' and the big-screen reimagining of 'Star Trek' (and possibly 'Mission: Impossible IV'). Now the multi-hyphenate wants to take on a book that revolves around tightrope walking, Colum McCann's National Book Award-winning novel 'Let the Great World Spin.'

According to a report in The Hollywood Reporter, Abrams and his Bad Robot production company (which has a deal with Paramount Pictures) is negotiating to grab the rights to McCann's novel, his fifth, which was published in June by Random House. Abrams would produce and McCann would adapt the screenplay. J.J. Abrams Eyes 'Let the Great World Spin' AdaptationJ.J. Abrams likes walking on tightropes. Witness the chances he's taken with TV's 'Lost' and 'Fringe,' and the big-screen reimagining of 'Star Trek' (and possibly 'Mission: Impossible 4'). Now the multi-hyphenate wants to take on a book that revolves around tightrope walking, Colum McCann's National Book Award-winning novel 'Let the Great World Spin.'

According to a report in the Hollywood Reporter, Abrams and his Bad Robot production company (which has a deal with Paramount Pictures) is negotiating to grab the rights to McCann's novel, his fifth, which was published in June by Random House. Abrams would produce and McCann would adapt the screenplay.

The novel, which explores the lives of 10 varied people in New York City -- a street priest, heroin-addicted hookers, mothers mourning sons lost in the Vietnam War, young artists, a Park Avenue judge -- uses as its backdrop the exploits of Frenchman Philippe Petit who, in August 1974, illegally walked a tightrope strung between the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Petit's stunt was chronicled in James Marsh's 2008 Academy Award-winning documentary 'Man on Wire.'

Abrams has lately been expanding his repertoire to include more literary-themed ventures. In development at Bad Robot and Paramount are an untitled diamond-heist project that stemmed from an article in Wired magazine and 'Mystery on Fifth Avenue,' based on a New York Times' article about a Manhattan apartment designed as a giant puzzle.

Though no director has been set for 'Spin,' Abrams -- no stranger to ensemble casts -- would be ideal to helm the project, giving him the opportunity to stretch his wings and further use his brilliant imagination in chronicling the lives of ordinary people. What do you think?
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