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DreamWorks drops Opal

The tragic tale of Kaavya Viswanathan, the juiciest – albeit most unpronouncable – New York book scandal in recent memory today sent its ripples all the way to Hollywood:
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Per Variety,

“For DreamWorks, the scandal arrived just after the studio received a first draft of a screenplay by Kara Holden. Once Viswanathan’s school newspaper, the Harvard Crimson, revealed at least 40 glaring similarities between “Opal” and McCafferty’s earlier books, a promising project joined a Warner Bros. adaptation of James Frey‘s “A Million Little Pieces” on the movie-adaptation trash heap. While the studio initially contemplated acquiring ["Sloppy Firsts" author Megan] McCafferty’s book rights, days later DreamWorks was considered likely to cut its losses.”

The whole thing stinks to high Heaven. As the the New York Times pointed out a day ago, an editorial assistant at McCafferty’s publisher, Crown, Claudia Gabel, moved to Alloy – the “book packager” of “Opal” – where Gabel then helped develop the idea for Viswanathan’s book.
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Aside from the unalloyed chutzpah Alloy has marshalled to leave Viswanathan twisting and humiliated in the wind, we also admire the utter audacity that DreamWorks displayed in such a morally ambiguous situation: We love the Opal story. Maybe we should just buy the other chick’s books?

Ah, Tinstletown: Faced with a corpse on the sidewalk, we simply step over the body and keep on walkin’.

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