Sean Penn may play the guy who invented book editing, Max Perkins, which is kind of like making a movie about the guy who sold Henry Ford the gasoline he used to run his first car on, isn’t it? There’s an entire book about the man, so presumably there’s some more worthy story there.

THR says John Logan’s script, titled Genius, is based on the book Max Perkins: Editor of Genius. The movie’s title would seem to suggest that they think Perkins is a genius too, and by all accounts that’s the case the book tries to make, as it paints Perkins as a selfless man who contributed heavily to the books of literary greats like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway all while giving them credit. Maybe there’s genius in helping great authors achieve their full potential, as an occasional editor myself I’d like to think so, but I’d still rather see a movie about the actual authors and not one about the guy who served as their spellchecker.

Still if Sean Penn is interested we probably should be too. The guy has a knack for picking epic roles. Right now he’s only in talks to take on the part of Perkins but Penn has connections with the movie’s producers and things sound rosy for a Genius/Penn pairing.

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