J.J. Abrams is negotiating a rights deal to produce an adaptation of Colum McCann's sprawling period novel Let the Great World Spin.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, McCann's fifth novel was published in June by Random House. Built around Philippe Petit's real-life "artistic crime of the century" -- when the Frenchman illegally walked a tightrope strung between the World Trade Center towers in August 1974 -- Let the Great World Spin follows an ensemble cast of characters struggling throughout New York.

The book's characters include a young Irish monk living among prostitutes in the Bronx; a group of mothers mourning their sons, killed in Vietnam, in a Park Avenue apartment; and a 38-year-old grandmother walking the streets with her teenage daughter. With comparisons to Don DeLillo's work, McCann's novel serves as an allegory of 9/11 and its aftermath.

No production date was announced.