08/08/2003 at 12:00 AM EDT
NBC was expecting to announce an agreement Friday with Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch to create an authorized TV movie, tentatively titled "Saving Private Lynch." But instead, the 20-year-old West Virginia woman -- whose capture and rescue in Iraq was the subject of vastly conflicting reports -- has decided to tell her story for the first time in a book to be published before the end of the year, The New York Times reports.
"The Lynch family has received many offers from people interested in bringing Jessica's story to life," a Lynch family spokesman, Randy Coleman, said in a statement, according to The Times. "Jessica and her family have concluded that the most appropriate and complete telling of this story will be in a book."
The family is reportedly nearing a deal with Rick Bragg, a former Times reporter, to pen the tome, which will be published by Knopf.
While an NBC executive told The Times that the network was disappointed about the Lynch family's decision, the net hasn't given up hope that it will land the first televised interview with Lynch. The source said talks to secure a Lynch interview are ongoing.
Still, sealing a movie deal with Lynch would have been important to NBC, whose made-for-TV movie is due to begin shooting in two weeks. Prior to talks with Lynch, the network was crafting an unauthorized version of the movie based primarily around the story of Mohammed Odeh Al-Rehaief, the Iraqi lawyer who alerted U.S. military officials to Lynch's whereabouts.