DreamWorks has reportedly dumped its plans to make a film version of Kaavya Viswanathan's book, How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life, due to allegations that she plagiarized much of the book from author Megan McCafferty.
DreamWorks is backpedaling away from Opal. Daily Variety reports DreamWorks hasn't formally announced that their previously announced film adaptation of Kaavya Viswanathan's novel How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life has been scrapped, but all indications are that the project is dead, a victim of a plagiarism scandal that has rocked the publishing world.
The novel was written by a Harvard sophomore, a selling point for publisher Little Brown and Company when promoting the novel, but just as the book came out, so did reports that Opal had 40 different blatant similarities to Megan McCafferty's novels Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings.
Little Brown and Company has gone so far as to withdraw the book from publication and call back all copies from booksellers.
DreamWorks had already commissioned and had just received an adaptation of the book into a screenplay by Kara Holden. When the scandal broke, there was some discussion that DreamWorks would acquire the rights to the plagiarized novels, but now it appears that the studio is simply going to bail out on the project altogether.
Warner Bros. was recently burned in the same way with their adaptation of the memoir A Million Little Pieces by James Frey; a true life story that turned out to be not so particularly true.
Kaavya Viswanathan is even more hot water: it appears that she also plagiarized the work of Sophie Kinsella, author of the Shopaholic series.