Variety (the daily edition, 1/9/02)

By Jonathan Bing

"High School Student’s Columns Basis for Pic"

Miramax has plucked its latest Wunderkind form a local high school.

Ned Vizzini, a recent Stuyvesant High School grad, has optioned his autobiographical story collection, "Teen Angst? Naaah…" to Miramax and Jane Startz Prods.

The book was published two years ago by Minneapolis-based Free Spirit Publishing, whose president Judy Galbraith discovered an essay Vizzini wrote for the New York Times Magazine.

Vizzini, now 20, is enrolled in Gotham’s Hunter College. He began writing for the alternative paper the New York Press at age 15; his columns were the basis for the book.

A collection of vignettes and scattershot advice on teen life in New York, "Angst" has sold more than 15,000 copies.

"Everybody is jumping on the ‘Harry Potter’ fantasy bandwagon," Startz said. "This book is about the real pains of growing up and the anxieties of being a regular kid."

Startz, who has a first-look deal at Miramax, has produced a wide rande of kids projects, including "The Mighty" for Miramax and the forthcoming "Tuck Everlasting," a Beacon co-production at Disney.