Variety reports that Mordecai Richler’s final novel before his death in 2001, Barney’s Version–a masterpiece of Montreal vernacular and the shattered recollections of old age–will now be made into a film with Paul Giamatti, of Sideways fame (though some may choose to remember him from the underrated Howard Stern vehicle Private Parts and as Andy Kaufman’s sidekick in Man on the Moon). Canada’s own Robert Lantos produces, with principal photography beginning in August in Rome, Montreal, New York and the Laurentians. An interesting side note: the film is a co-production of Serendipity Point Films (the Lantos outfit) and Italy’s Fandango, with a producing credit also going to Domenico Procacci, who was behind the hardscrabble Italian gangster epic Gomorrah. Why Italian backing for a film adaptation of Barney’s Version? Richler’s novel was a runaway success in Italy, selling 70,000 copies and inspiring a Barney’s Version column in Il Foglio, a right-wing newspaper.