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Summit’s Post-’Twilight’ Chapter To Be Underwritten By Book Adaptations

Mike Fleming

The start of Summit Entertainment’s trajectory began when the mini-major convinced Stephenie Meyer to sell her Twilight Saga book series after she’d been left so frustrated by how Paramount Pictures let it languish. Was it a billion dollar lucky break? As the vampire-werewolf series that fueled Summit’s recent $750 million refinancing comes to a close, Summit has bet heavily on books for its future franchises. Under production chief Erik Feig, Summit has been as prolific a buyer of books as any studio in town over the past two years. Most are conducive to young casts.

As Deadline predicted, Summit Entertainment has closed a screen rights deal for Veronica Roth’s young adult novel Divergent, which will be published by the HarperCollins imprint Katherine Tegen Books. It takes place in a futuristic dystopia where society is divided into factions as kids are categorized based on human traits. A teenage girl and guy rebel against the labels, which is a very dangerous thing to do. The buying community has compared it to The Hunger Games in tone and violent content. Red Wagon’s Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher will produce with Pouya Shahbazian. The latter works for FinePrint Productions and stirred up some dust in the early deal brokering with what I’m told were high demands like 35% of the fee from whatever established producer came onto the picture, even though the book fell … Read More »

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Summit Lands Frankfurt Book Fair Sensation ‘The Night Circus’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Summit Entertainment has acquired world rights to The Night Circus, a first novel by Erin Morgenstern that will be published by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group in September. The book is the story of two young prodigy illusionists in the 19th Century who are groomed to battle out their fathers’ age-old rivalry in an enchanted circus created just for their competition. They complicate matters when the young man and woman  fall in love.

The book was a much-buzzed about title at the 2010 Frankfurt Book Fair. Summit president of production Erik Feig chased it hard, and came away with the rights after a persuasive meeting with lit agent Richard Pine, who  had planned to hold meetings with all studios after the holiday. Those meetings were canceled while Pine ‘s Inkwell Management and UTA made a deal that covers both movie and TV rights. The aspiration is to make a film first, and then possibly consider TV options. Pine will be exec producer, and Feig will oversee development with exec Jeyun Choi for Summit.

The Night Circus sets a spell on the reader from its very first page and we cannot wait to find the right filmmaker and cast to make the world come as inordinately alive as it does in the mind’s eye,” Feig said in a statement.

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