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Director Jonathan Levine Finds "Little Girl Lost"

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Director Johnathan Levine, fresh off filming a cancer comedy(!) with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, has lined up his next project, an adaptation of a gritty New York City crime novel.

Levine will direct "Little Girl Lost," based on the novel by Richard Aleas, reported Variety. It's the story of a private investigator who tries to solve the mystery behind the death of his high school girlfriend,  a young woman who ended up "on the pole," in the parlance of Chris Rock. Here's the Publisher's Weekly synopsis:

John Blake, an NYU dropout turned PI, is stunned to learn that his high school girlfriend, Miranda, who he thought went to medical school and then on to lead a tame life in the Midwest, actually became a stripper. Even more shocking—she's been murdered. Angry and confused, Blake looks into Miranda's past, beginning at a 10th-rate strip joint owned by some unsavory characters.

The title of the novel -- as well as Aleas' follow-up, "Songs of Innocence" -- are both named for poems by William Blake that deal with the innocence of childhood, themes at the core of both of the novels.

With its New York City underworld setting, "Little" sounds like a nice match thematically with Levine's first film, "The Wackness," about a NYC pot dealer who trades grass for sessions with a therapist whose daughter he's in love with, all while trying to help out his cash-strapped parents.

Levine's next film, the dramatic comedy "Live With It," (formerly known as "I'm With Cancer") stars Gordon-Levitt is based on the real-life experiences of screenwriter Will Reiser, who was diagnosed with cancer in his mid 20s. The movie co-stars Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick and Bryce Dallas Howard.

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