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Local author Steve Knopper's music-biz book gets optioned

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Appetite For Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age, by locally based Rolling Stone contributing editor Steve Knopper, is a great read -- but a movie? Even Knopper had his doubts. Yet this entertaining chronicle of music-biz greedheads running up huge profits thanks to the CD, only to piss them away in short order amid the rise of the iPod, is being developed as a film likely aimed at HBO.

Knopper, corresponding by e-mail, tells the tale.

"Around March, Bob Cooper, a veteran producer with HBO connections, now the head of Landscape Entertainment, called me and said he liked the book," he notes. "He said he especially connected to the humor in it. That was something I'd really worked hard on, so he had me with that.

"He wanted to make a feature, which surprised me, since I thought the book lent itself more to documentary (and of course the characters change rapidly, over a long period)," he goes on. "But he mentioned a few other films -- I think one was The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom -- and I immediately got it. Anyway, he and my agent (and HBO) negotiated and the check came through last week, so the film is officially optioned.

"Of course, that doesn't mean it will actually be a movie," concedes Knopper, whose book will be adapted by screenwriter Victoria Stewart. "A lot has to happen -- but I really like Bob, and I think HBO is a good fit."

Especially for a book that doesn't necessarily seem like a movie.

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