EXCLUSIVE: After a spirited bidding battle involving multiple studios, 20th Century Fox has just closed a 7-figure deal for film rights to the international spy thriller Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews. Film Rites‘ Steve Zaillian and Garrett Basch will produce. The book sold to Scribner in a similarly vigorous publishing auction last year. It will be published in June.
The book is set in contemporary Russia, and state intelligence officer Dominika Egorova struggles to survive in the cast-iron bureaucracy of post-Soviet intelligence. Drafted against her will to become a “Sparrow,” a trained seductress in the service, Dominika is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash. He is a first-tour CIA officer who handles the agency’s most sensitive penetration of Russian intelligence. The two young intelligence officers collide in a charged atmosphere of tradecraft, deception, and inevitably, a sexual attraction that threatens their careers and the security of America’s valuable mole in Moscow. Dominika winds up seeking revenge against her soulless masters, and living a fatal double life after she is recruited by the CIA to ferret out a high-level traitor in Washington. She also hunts down a Russian illegal buried deep in the U.S. military and, against all odds, to return to Moscow as the new-generation penetration of Vladimir Putin’s intelligence service. Fox’s Kira Goldberg was instrumental in securing the rights. ICM Partners repped the author and brokered the deal.
Deadline revealed last week that 20th Century would acquire film rights to Hugh Howey book Wool, an e-book being called science fiction’s answer to Fifty Shades Of Grey. Here’s the confirmation:
RANDOM HOUSE’S CENTURY ACQUIRES NEW SELF-PUBLISHED PHENOMENON HUGH HOWEY WITH FILMS RIGHTS SNAPPED UP BY RIDLEY SCOTT AND STEVE ZAILLIAN FOR 20th CENTURY FOX
After a fierce bidding war reminiscent of Fifty Shades of Grey, 20th Century Fox has just acquired the film rights. Ridley and Tony Scott’s Scott Free are partnering on the deal with Film Rites’ Steve Zaillian and Garrett Basch. Kassie Evashevski at United Talent Agency brokered the deal on behalf of Kristin Nelson at NLA.
In the spirit of The Hunger Games, Wool is a high-concept novel set in a stark future; the air outside is no longer breathable, so the last community on Earth lives underground in an enormous silo. Survival is everything, and some will do anything to ensure it. The upcoming Shift Trilogy is a prequel to the story of Wool.
After a hotly contested 5-way auction, Jack Fogg, Editorial Director at Century has acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to Wool and The Shift Trilogy by Hugh Howey from Jenny Meyer at Jenny Meyer Literary Agency on behalf of Kristin Nelson, president of The Nelson Literary Agency (NLA).
Much like EL James’s Fifty Shades trilogy, Wool has become a word-of-mouth sensation since the author self-published on Amazon.com, garnering over 600 five-star reviews and selling over
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BREAKING: I’m hearing that 20th Century Fox is the frontrunner to acquire Wool, a self-published e-book that has become an internet sensation and is being called the sci-fi version of Fifty Shades of Grey. Ridley and Tony Scott’s Scott Free are partnering on the deal with Film Rites’ Steve Zaillian and Garrett Basch. Producer credits are still being worked out, but they will include Scott Free’s Elisha Holmes and Michael Costigan. Fox’s Steve Asbell will oversee it.
There has been something of a stampede of bidders, including Lionsgate, for a book was written by Hugh Howey. Wool is about a dystopian future where the last inhabitants on earth band together in safe bunkers called silos. No one is allowed outside until a secret is discovered that could change the course of humanity, as well as reveal its devastating past. Bidders sparked to the book and the grassroots groundswell of reader interest reminiscent of Fifty Shades Of Grey, which sold for a fortune to Universal. UTA is repping the book on behalf of Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency and attorney Wayne Alexander.