Last Friday, Deadline broke news that author James Frey’s latest YA novel Endgame was part of a bidding war. Later I reported that the result was a movie deal upwards of $2 million with Fox, which came after the publishing deal with sister company HarperCollins, and Google part of the mix. This for a Hunger Games-style series. So here are more details about what happened for the author of I Am Number Four and A Million Little Pieces.
HarperCollins got this started by buying U.S. and UK English-language rights to a trilogy of novels Frey writes with Nils Johnson-Shelton, first of which is to be published on October 7, 2014. The book already has its foreign publishers lined up for a simultaneous release around the world in over 30 languages. Fox signed on quickly — Warner Bros was trolling but never got to make a bid — for the movie rights, the first of which Frey will script based on the the opening book Endgame: The Calling, with Twilight Saga producers Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen of Temple Hill producing a series of movies based on the three books. They also have access to e-book novellas that are part of the series. The interactive part of this has big potential and is being orchestrated by HarperCollins, Full Fathom Five (which created I Am Number Four) and Google’s Niantic Labs, which will publish six Endgame novels for the Google Play store, with the game launching on Android and iOS devices late next year. Read More »
Former Breaking Bad writer Gennifer Hutchison has been hired to adapt the teen fantasy novel The Red Queen for Universal Pictures. HarperCollins will publish the book in winter 2015 as one of its top titles through its HarperTeen imprint. HarperCollins confirmed to Deadline that it expects a major marketing push in conjunction with the launch, which will segue well with Uni’s own marketing efforts in this young female-driven film.
The book has been sold into 16 different languages almost a year out from its domestic launch and is the first of a trilogy. Its publisher hopes it will become another Hunger Games. The Red Queen, written by Victoria Aveyard, centers on a 17-year-old who must save her family in a world “divided by the color of blood,” according to HarperTeen. She must pretend to be a long-lost princess while going undercover to secretly become part of a revolution that pits prince against prince. Hutchison is the former assistant of Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan. Read More »
The News Corp publishing unit has expressed interest in acquiring CBS Corp‘s Simon & Schuster book unit, according to the Wall Street Journal. If true, the overture comes less than a month after News Corp reportedly … Read More »
The Fox Group is bringing back the Fox Writers Intensive, the program for experienced writers with diverse backgrounds, ethnic minorities as well as LGBT, foreign-born and others, which debuted last year. The Fox network was the program’s main backer in its inaugural edition. This time around, the initiative is being expanded to other News Corp. divisions and will provide participants with opportunities in book development and publishing at HarperCollins, as well as the chance to apply on a first-look basis for the Fox Writers Studio, a yearlong think tank of salaried screenwriters working together to produce original feature films for 20th Century Fox Film. This year’s initiative will also feature development support from 20th Century Fox TV and FX, which, along with Fox Broadcasting Co., will purchase and develop the winning finalist’s original script. Read More »
News Corp is jumping into the bidding for Pearson’s Penguin book imprint, according to News Corp’s Sunday Times of London. News chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch “has indicated he will make a substantial cash offer — thought to be about … Read More »
The federal judge in the e-book price-fixing case against Apple and book publishers who haven’t settled out of court has set a trial date of June 3, 2013, Bloomberg reports. Of the five publishers … Read More »
It could be a fascinating anti-trust case according the details reported by The Wall Street Journal. The paper says that the Justice Department is gearing up to sue Apple and five top publishers — Simon & Schuster, Hachette, Penguin Group, Macmillan, and HarperCollins — for conspiring to fix e-book prices around 2010 when the tech company introduced its iPad. The group allegedly wanted to end Amazon’s practice of selling e-books for a deeply discounted $9.99, part of the company’s strategy to promote sales of its Kindle e-readers. Hoping to loosen Amazon’s grip on the market, and help its new iPad, Apple encouraged publishers to stop selling books wholesale — which enabled retailers to set the selling price– and to adopt a so-called “agency model.” That empowers publishers to set the sales price, and pay retailers a fee of about 30%. The late Apple CEO Steve Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson that he told publishers “the customer pays a little more, but that’s what you want any way.” He added that Read More »
Is Roger Ailes thinking about stepping down from his gig as chief of Fox News? That’s a possibility, New York Magazine says in a report about his plans to write an autobiography as he enters “a legacy-burnishing phase … Read More »
Newmarket Press, which has made its name publishing more than 200 film-related books like screenplays and making-of and movie tie-in titles, has been acquired by HarperCollins. The film and entertainment books will continue to be released under Newmarket’s name, now … Read More »