Loosely based on New Yorker contributor Susan Orlean's ``The Orchid Thief,'' the $25 million project follows a sexually frustrated screenwriter's attempts to adapt Orlean's anecdotal novel for the screen, reported Variety.
In between, suffering both love-sickness and writer's block, the onscreen version of Kaufman enlists his imaginary twin brother, Donald, a fledgling screenwriter, to collaborate on what becomes a box office monster.
Meryl Streep is apparently interested in starring as Susan Orlean, but no negotiations have commenced.
The picture's budget is tantamount to Cage's usual fee for big-budget thrillers like ``The Rock,'' ``Con Air'' and ``Face/Off.'' But in this case, Cage would likely defer most of his upfront fee in exchange for a sizable portion of the box office gross of ``Adaptation.''
Columbia offered Cage an upfront fee somewhere less than $5 million late in the day Tuesday. Negotiations are expected to begin imminently.
Cage, currently shooting MGM's ``Windtalkers'' in Hawaii, will next star in the Universal-Miramax World War II drama ``Captain Corelli's Mandolin'' under helmer John Madden. He also stars in Universal's Christmas release ``Family Man,'' helmed by Brett Ratner.
Officials for Cage and at Columbia were unavailable for comment—Albawaba.com.
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