Report: Indie Director Ben Coccio in Talks for Film Adaptation of 'Downers Grove'

The movie, based on the thriller novel by Michael Hornburg, has been on hold since it was first announced by Myriad Pictures in 2010, when actresses Nikki Reed and Hayden Panettiere were attached to the film.

Nearly two years after the project was first announced, the film adaptation of the novel Downers Grove is back in the news.

TheWrap.com reported last week that indie director Ben Coccio is in talks to direct the feature film, which tells the story of a high school senior in Downers Grove, IL, who must escape a death curse.

Coccio has previously directed three films, including Zero Day and The Beginner. He recently co-wrote the screenplay for The Place Beyond the Pines, a hit at the Toronto International Film Festival, according to the report.

Sources told TheWrap that Coccio submitted an outline for Downers Grove, which is in the process of being revamped.

The screenplay for Downers Grove was written by Bret Easton Ellis, author of the violent novel American Psycho. The script is based on the 1999 novel of the same name by Michael Hornburg.

The blurb on the back cover of the book reads:

Downers Grove is the haunting and tender story of Chrissie Swanson, a paranoid high school senior for whom graduating has become a matter of life or death. She's an unusual girl in an ordinary town. Her mother's sex life is overshadowing her own; her brother is aboard his own private Enterprise, slipping into one black hole after another; her best friend is hornier than a Prince song; and her eccentric grandmother has become the only source of wisdom in her rapid downward spiral..."

The film adaptation of Downers Grove was first announced by Myriad Pictures in 2010, when Nelson McCormick ("Prom Night") was set to direct and actresses Nikki Reed ("Twilight") and Hayden Panettiere ("Nashville") were set to star.

Actress Rebecca De Mornay is still attached to the film, according to TheWrap.

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There are plenty of ways to keep up in Downers Grove news:

Eileen Kenah October 25, 2012 at 12:11 PM
I really hope they do not make this movie. The book was by far the worst I have ever read.
Amanda Luevano October 25, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Eileen, that's interesting. I've heard a lot about the book since I arrived in Downers Grove. Is it even representative of the town (aside from the weird death curse)?
Tony Cesare October 25, 2012 at 06:09 PM
You know what Eileen? I bought this book for my wife for her summer reading and she described as bleak and depressing. Your not alone, she hated it.
Lisa Stach October 25, 2012 at 11:43 PM
Dull, pointless plot featuring characters I don't even care enough about to bother disliking, and worst of all, literally NO references to any genuine DG landmarks, history, people, traditions, streets, flora, fauna etc. whatsoever. A real disappointment. From what I've read, the only reason it's being considered as a potential vehicle for a major motion picture is because screenwriters are repackaging it as a teen horror/slasher pic. So, more good news.
Abbie Hornburg January 31, 2013 at 07:43 PM
Lisa Stach should know that Michael Hornburg's grandparents, RIP, lived in Downers Grove since the 1930s...and there are many DG landmarks, historical references, people, tradition (beer drinking?), and yes flora and fauna in the novel...perhaps she is a newcomer but there was a time when the Tivoli Lanes, the Burlington Northern tracks, high schools, Denburn Woods, Maple Avenue, the Shell Station at 63rd and Main, pear trees, and dead high school students existed.


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