McG will option the rights to Kody Keplinger's debut novel, The DUFF. It's a coming-of-age story about a high school student who comes to the realization that she's the definition of a DUFF, a "designated ugly fat friend." The book doesn't hit stands until the fall, but according to the Amazon product description, the book's DUFF, Bianca Piper, isn't focused solely on her position on the social ladder; she's got issues at home and even develops an unlikely romantic relationship with the school bad boy, Wesley Rush.
It's hard not to giggle at the hurtful yet cleverly amusing acronym. Of course it's a terribly derogatory term, but every high school girl's been called a not so nice name now and then; it's all about how you handle it and it seems as though Keplinger's treatment of the term is going to be one of defiance rather than submission. In an August 2009 interview, the young author explained Bianca "might be seen as 'the Duff,' but she's smart enough to know it's kind of a dumb, horrible concept, even though it bothers her."
The book was featured on the Young Adult Editors' Buzz panel at last week's BookExpo America and seems to have an appealing Juno-like quality to it, but where does McG fit into the equation? This is as far from a CGI-infused grandiose project as possible, yet the man with a knack for making this crash and burn (pun intended) is keen on producing this one through his company, Wonderland Sound and Vision, in conjunction with Vast Entertainment.
Lately any news including McG's name comes with a gigantic question mark attached, but perhaps keeping things on the indie level is exactly what he needs. Throw in a modest director and a handful of up and comers and he could actually have amassed a cast and crew he can handle.