Sandra Bullock has agreed to star in a film about Peyton Place author Grace Metalious, whose million-selling novel scandalized the nation 50 years ago and eventually ruined the author's life.

The Assocatied Press says Bullock is co-producing with Carol Baum, whose previous films include Fly Away Home and the remake of Father of the Bride. Naomi Foner, whose credits include "Running on Empty" and Bee Season, is writing the screenplay.

Metalious' novel of sex and scandal in a small New England town, based partly on Gilmanton, was published in the fall of 1956. Although it was banned in several cities, "Peyton Place" became one of the best-selling novels in history and led to a popular movie starring Lana Turner and Hope Lange.

But Metalious never recovered from her sudden notoriety. Her marriage fell apart, her children were harassed and the author herself received threatening calls and letters. She became a heavy drinker and died of cirrhosis in 1964, at 39.