Today in books: Malik Obama says he's writing a biography of Barack Obama Sr., the screen rights to Seth Grahame-Smith's Three Wise Men mashup go for $2 million, and a musical version of The Bridges of Madison County could soon be putting Broadway audiences to sleep.
- Barack Obama's half-brother Malik is trying to find a publisher for his 376-page manuscript, Barack Obama, Sr.: The Rise and Life of a True African Scholar. Obama the elder hasn't come off particularly well in books written by and about President Obama (in his Obama biography The Bridge, David Remnick says the president's father, who worked as an economist, "failed not only his ambitions, but dozens of family members who depended on him"), but Malik insists earlier books about his father were "unauthorized" and that his project will rescue Obama senior's reputation from damage inflicted by "the gutter press." [Capital New York]
- Lionsgate hasn't been able to keep a director for its adaptation Seth Grahame-Smith's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but that didn't deter Warner Bros. from shelling out $2 million for the screen rights to his upcoming Holy Night, which reimagines the tale of the Three Wise Men as a swashbuckling adventure story. The book comes out in April and frankly, we're surprised there hasn't been more "Will this be controversial?" hand-wringing. [Deadline]
- Paramount is in talks to acquire the screen rights to Laini Taylor's novel Daughters of Smoke and Bone, one of the many young adult books released this fall that The Wall Street Journal offered up as "the next Harry Potter." It's about a girl who goes around the world collecting teeth for her crazy father, which doesn't have the universal appeal of say, Quidditch, but Paramount's still said to be offering a deal in the neighborhood of $700,000 and two other studios are also said to be interested. [Deadline]
- You're going to have The Bridges of Madison County to kick around some more. A musical adaptation of Robert James Waller's best-seller, which inspired a good Clint Eastwood movie despite having lines like “We have both lost ourselves and created something else, something that exists only as an interlacing of the two of us," is going to "developmental workshop" later this month. If that goes well, a full production could be next. [Arts Beat]