According to Variety, Lasse Hallstrom is poised to direct Hoax, a film about Clifford Irving, the man who wrote and sold a bogus biography of billionaire aviator Howard Hughes to McGraw-Hill.

Richard Gere is in talks to play Irving, and Alfred Molina is in talks to play Richard Suskind, his accomplice in pulling off one of the great media hoaxes.

The picture is based on Irving's published account of his misdeed, for which he was given a 2?-year jail sentence in 1972. He convinced his publisher that he'd developed a relationship with Hughes, who by that time hadn't been seen in public for years. Irving even forged documents that appeared to prove he had the ear of the billionaire. Even when Hughes emerged momentarily from seclusion for a telephone news conference to say the book was bogus, McGraw-Hill continued to stand by Irving, who stuck to his story until he finally had no choice but to cop to his crime.

Brian B.