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Universal And Jeff Zucker Turn Daniel Silva Novels Into Spy Film Franchise

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: While the focus at Universal Pictures is on who’ll play the lead in The Bourne Legacy for writer/director Tony Gilroy, the studio has plugged itself into another espionage novel franchise. And former NBC Uni CEO Jeff Zucker is at its center. Universal has acquired screen rights to the series of bestselling books by Daniel Silva that focus on Gabriel Allon. A Mossad agent who killed six of the terrorists that murdered Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, Allon is semi-retired and makes his living as an art restorer. But he still takes assignments as an Israeli spy. Silva last year moved the book franchise from Putnam to HarperCollins.

Zucker, who left his post in January and has so far been mum on his future plans, became involved as the film’s producer because he and Silva are close friends and the author wanted it that way. Silva will be executive producer and the studio will go out to writers immediately. Universal has been keen on the Silva series for several years. It almost made a deal in 2007 for a a movie adaptation of the 2006 novel The Messenger with Pierre Morel attached to direct, but that deal wasn’t consummated. Studio will get a writer before figuring out which book to focus on. Allon has been in 10 of Silva’s novels. The next, Portrait of a Spy, will be … Read More »

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Daniel Silva Makes 3-Book Deal At Harper

Mike Fleming

Bestselling author Daniel Silva has left a long run at Putnam and made a 3-book deal at HarperCollins. I toldja that Silva left ICM to sign with D.C. attorney Robert Barnett at Williams & Connolly, in anticipation of shopping for the new deal. Silva was locked in by Harper senior vice president Jonathan Burnham and the books will be edited by executive editor Jennifer Barth. Not sure how much the deal was worth, but it is the latest in what will likely be a growing number of established authors leaving houses because those publishers are unwilling to pay the high advances their authors were accustomed to receiving. That happened with Janet Evanovich, who left St. Martin’s Press after the publisher nixed an ask for $50 million for her next four books, even though she was the house’s top fiction author. She moved to Random House’s Ballantine Bantam Dell imprint, but word in publishing circles is it was for a lot less than she originally asked.

HarperCollins confirmed the move, with Silva’s first book under the new deal to be published in summer, 2011. Silva was a journalist when he began writing novels with The Unlikely Spy. He’s best known for the popular series revolving around Gabriel Allon, an art restorer/Israeli spy. He most recently hit the bestseller lists earlier this summer with The Rembrandt Affair.

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Another Bestselling Novelist, Daniel Silva, Shops His Deal To Publishers

By | Wednesday September 1, 2010 @ 3:03pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Bestselling author Daniel Silva has left his longtime reps at ICM to sign with Robert Barnett, the D.C-based attorney at Williams & Connolly. The word in publishing circles is that this is a first step toward Silva shopping for a new publishing deal, one that might lead to his exit from Putnam.

Silva had been with ICM since he transitioned from journalism to spy thrillers with the 1997 debut The Unlikely Spy. He is best known for the series he writes on art restorer/Israeli secret agent Gabriel Allon. Silva routinely lands on the bestseller lists, most recently for The Rembrandt Affair, which Putnam published last month.

I’m told that Barnett is shopping to publishers and that Silva’s wife, NBC Today Show correspondent Jamie Gangel, will play a large role in making his next deal. ICM’s Sloan Harris and Esther Newberg had repped Silva. While he’s not on the sales level of Janet Evanovich, Siva’s situation sounds somewhat familiar. Evanovich’s son, Peter, took over as her agent after she left Trident Media. After St. Martin’s Press declined an offer to renew her deal at $50 million for 4 books earlier this summer, Evanovich made a deal at Random House’s Ballantine Bantam Dell imprint. Price was never disclosed, but sources tell me it was for far less than the original ask.

What’s driving all of this is the growing realization by authors that their next deal probably won’t be as good as their last. Dealmakers … Read More »

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