Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Electric City partners Jamie Patricof and Lynette Howell have optioned rights to the Alison Espach novel The Adults. They’ve set Massy Tadjedin to write the script and direct. Patricof and Howell most recently completed the Derek Cianfrance-directed The Place Beyond The Pines, which stars Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper and Eva Mendes and will be released by Focus Features.

In her debut novel, Espach chronicles a modern young woman’s struggle to grow up in a world where an adult and a child can so dangerously be mistaken for one and the same. At the center of the suburban universe in which the novel is set is teenager Emily Vidal, who learns quickly of the complications that come with adulthood when she falls in love with an older man. Espach teaches creative writing in New York City.

Howell found the book reminiscent of generation coming-of-age stories like The Graduate. “We were captivated by Alison’s work in her debut novel,” Howell said. “A fresh and emerging voice, Alison’s novel explores the relationships between adults and children, from the perspective of a young woman crossing the blurry line that separates the two.”

Tadjedin is best known for scripting Leo and The Jacket before making her directorial debut on Last Night, which starred Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington and Mendes.

“We really see this story being a strong adaptation for the screen with its rich ensemble of characters,” said Patricof. “Having seen Massy’s first film, we feel that she is the kind of filmmaker who could handle the weight of the book’s moral ambiguity, while sustaining multiple story lines and garnering compelling performances.” UTA brokered the book deal for The Friedrich Agency and CAA reps Tadjedin.