‘Jews With Swords’ Are Coming

Michael Chabon will author a 16-part serialized novel in The New York Times Magazine, temporarily called “Jews with swords,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning author announced Friday.

Chabon provided no plot details about the Times stories other than the working title, which he swears is “the working title only!” The stories are scheduled to begin hitting print sometime in early January after Michael Connelly’s serial completes, Chabon wrote on his Web site.

Chabon also announced Friday that he had been replaced as the screenwriter for Disney’s martial arts picture Snow and the Seven.

A brief recounting by Chabon of the end of his job on the film went like this: “They love you, but they want to go in another direction.” “What kind of dir–” “More of a fun direction.” “Oh.”

No word on who has replaced Chabon.

Chabon said his next novel, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, is “completed and headed for copy-editing.” It should hit bookstores in May 2007, much sooner than anticipated (Chabon said in December it wouldn’t hit stores until winter 2007).

Chabon noted that the film adaptation of Mysteries of Pittsburgh is “about to enter the magical estate known as ‘principal photography,’ in the great city of Pittsburgh.” News reports circulated earlier this week that Nick Nolte has joined the cast. (Nextbook, by the way, is carrying an account of that crazy 80’s extra casting call).

But don’t expect any new news on the film adaptation Kavalier & Clay, at least not from Chabon. He posted this missive on his site regarding the film: “Status: Complying With Polite Request To Stop Posting About It On This Website, Already.”

Chabon’s previous posting regarding the film had been to say the Natalie Portman might get cast as Rosa Saks. Unlike usual with Chabon’s Web site updates, links to the posting began widely popping up throughout the blogosphere, and several Hollywood news Web sites quoted it at length.

Cinematical quotes Chabon’s wife, Ayelet Waldman, as saying Kavalier & Clay has “not yet been greenlit.”

Waldman also updated her Web site, with an update on the family:

“We’re in Maine, on something of an extended vacation. Vacation for us means we don’t do anything but work and play with the kids. It’s been pretty grand, but frankly I’m surprised I haven’t done as much reading as I expected. Maybe it’s because the kids are obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and we watch it every night. I’ve also spent time getting my butt kicked at Scrabble, as usual. Playing Scrabble with my husband is exactly no fun at all.”

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