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Writer and producer Maria Semple is best known for her work on such celebrated sitcoms as Mad About You and Arrested Development. But her writing is soon to move into movies as her acclaimed comedic novel Where'd You Go, Bernadette? sparked a bidding war in Hollywood. When the dust settled, it was Annapurna Pictures that had snagged the book's movie rights; producer of True Grit and Lawless Megan Ellison will produce along with Nina Jacobson (Hunger Games) and Brad Simpson (World War Z).

The mysterious figure at the center of the book is Bernadette Fox, a wife and mother whose abrupt disappearance throws her daughter Bee into a desperate search to find her. But while this may sound like the beginnings of a Lifetime Channel movie, Semple infuses this tragic premise with plenty of humor as Bee sifts through her mother's private correspondences, and so discovers sides to her that the girl never knew.

To adapt Semple's epistolary novel, Annapurna wants Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber, the screenwriters behind the quirky rom-com (500) Days Of Summer. Deadline reports the pair are currently in negotiations, and they seem a shrewd choice as they've not only shown they can paint complex and compelling female characters but also wring identifiable pathos from comedy.

Aside from being made up of email messages, office memos and personal letters, Where'd You Go, Bernadette? offers another challenge to these buzzed about scribes as it takes on various perspectives to paint a sometimes conflicting portrait of Bernadette. It'd be interesting to see how Neustadter and Weber overcome these hurtles to make a cohesive narrative should they sign on.
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