EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros made a fast deal Friday for screen rights to The Future of Us, a novel by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler. Denise Di Novi’s Di Novi Pictures will produce. Fox was also in the mix. The book is set in 1996, when a young girl gets the Internet at home for the first time. When she logs on, up pops a strange website. It’s her Facebook profile from 15 years in the future, and she and her best friend try to change themselves to fit into or reject their future lives. Subtle decisions drastically influence who they become. Asher wrote 13 Reasons Why, a first novel that has become a big international bestseller and which is being developed at Universal as a star vehicle for Selena Gomez to star and Strike Entertainment to produce. Mackler wrote The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things. The Future of Us will be published in November by Razorbill, with a 500,000-copy first printing. Hotchkiss and Associates’ Sean Daily made the deal with Andrea Brown Literary Agency and Writers House.
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures and Strike Entertainment have acquired the Jay Asher novel 13 Reasons Why as a star vehicle for Selena Gomez. Strike’s Eric Newman and Marc Abraham are producing with Mandy Teefey of July Moon Productions.
Jennifer O’Kieffe has been set to adapt the novel, about a shy California high school student who returns from school to find a box waiting on his doorstep. It contains seven cassette tapes recorded by Hanna Baker, the classmate he had a crush on. Before she committed suicide, Hannah sent the tapes to one classmate with instructions to pass them on to a list of students like a chain letter. The tapes explain to 13 people how they played a role in her death. The book was a bestseller when published in 2007 by the Penguin Books young adult imprint RazorBill. Strike’s Kristel Laiblin is exec producer.
Gomez, who stars in the Disney Channel series The Wizards of Waverly Place, starred in the Tom Bezucha-directed Monte Carlo. She’s repped by CAA.
I’ve known Mike Sitrick for a long time. He’s a PR maven who prides himself on being a family man. Which is why he should be filled with self-loathing for allowing his firm to promote a torture porn pic like Captivity, much less an even more disgusting premiere party whose selling point was its political incorrectness. (Let me make it perfectly clear: I support talent’s right to make the movie, just not business people profiting from it.) Sure, I received all those inane emails announcing the bash, and I did the right thing: I trashed them. Other journalists fell all over themselves covering the event so as to diss it: really, they’re lemmings hurling themselves off the cliff. There is only one way to stop the business of these torture porn movies: by shaming the people who receive money for releasing them, publicizing them, having anything to do with them. So, Mike, how could you? (And how could you, After Dark’s Courtney Solomon and Allan Zeman?) Take that Captivity money and donate it to charity and pledge publicly right now you’ll never get involved with torture porn pics again. Until Mike does, I urge Hollywood and other companies to shun Sitrick and Company because there is such a thing as guilt by association.
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