According to Variety, Columbia Pictures is in advanced negotiations to acquire screen rights to 102 Minutes, a newly published book about 9/11 by New York Times reporters Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn featuring tales of heroism and incompetence, with the added element of a ticking clock.
The title refers to the time span between the moment the first plane hit the World Trade Center at 8:46 a.m. and the time the first tower collapsed at 10:28 a.m.
The book examines the disaster from the vantage point of those inside the buildings and details the frantic efforts that went into addressing the crisis and trying to save lives.
"102 Minutes" joins recent studio deals for 9/11 films. Among them is a pic being developed by Double Features partners Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher, who are working with producer Debra Hill on an Andrea Berloff-scripted film about the rescue of Port Authority cops Will Jimeno and John McLoughlin from the WTC rubble. And Imagine's Brian Grazer has a deal with NBC Universal TV for an eight-hour miniseries based on the 585-page 9/11 Commission Report.
Dwyer previously co-wrote a book about the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, and Flynn was the Times' police bureau chief on Sept. 11. Their book is getting attention for its thorough dissection of deficiencies in building construction and disaster preparedness, flaws that ranged from a lack of fire-resistant staircases to turf battles between cops and firemen.
Perhaps more important for the film, "102 Minutes" illustrates the sacrifices and heroism by ordinary people and rescuers to get nearly 12,000 people out of the buildings before their collapse.
The dramatic and moving account of the struggle for life inside the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, when every minute counted.
At 8:46 am on September 11, 2001, 14,000 people were inside the twin towers-reading e-mails, making trades, eating croissants at Windows on the World. Over the next 102 minutes, each would become part of a drama for the ages, one witnessed only by the people who lived it-until now.
Of the millions of words written about this wrenching day, most were told from the outside looking in. New York Times reporters Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn have taken the opposite-and far more revealing-approach. Reported from the perspectives of those inside the towers, 102 Minutes captures the little-known stories of ordinary people who took extraordinary steps to save themselves and others. Beyond this stirring panorama stands investigative reporting of the first rank. An astounding number of people actually survived the plane impacts but were unable to escape, and the authors raise hard questions about building safety and tragic flaws in New York's emergency preparedness.
Dwyer and Flynn rely on hundreds of interviews with rescuers, thousands of pages of oral histories, and countless phone, e-mail, and emergency radio transcripts. They cross a bridge of voices to go inside the infernos, seeing cataclysm and heroism, one person at a time, to tell the affecting, authoritative saga of the men and women-the nearly 12,000 who escaped and the 2,749 who perished-as they made 102 minutes count as never before.