UPDATE: So how did Universal end up with Daughter of Smoke & Bone when Paramount was in exclusive negotiations just last week? Paramount ended those talks late last week, and I’m told it was because the studio would not go along with an ask by agent Jane Putch (who’s executive producer) for creative approvals and money that was more than Harry Potter, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo or The Hunger Games when those book deals were optioned. Specifically, Paramount bristled about control in later installments of the series and the studio insisted on offering creative conversations contingent on the book taking off as a publishing phenomenon. So far, Smoke & Bone has sold a limited amount of copies. Paramount was ready to pay $750,000 but called off the deal. Before that studio got involved, Universal had been in talks for the book before it pulled out. Some in lit circles thought the deal would never get made, but clearly they found some common ground after the Paramount deal didn’t work out.
Los Angeles, CA, December 13, 2011—Universal Pictures announced today that it has acquired the worldwide rights to the celebrated young adult fantasy novel Daughter of Smoke & Bone written by National Book Award Finalist Laini Taylor. A highly sought after property in Hollywood, the book was published this September and is the first in a trilogy. Universal’s Co-Presidents of Production Peter Cramer and Jeff Kirschenbaum made the announcement.
Daughter of Smoke & Bone has been sold in over 25 countries so far to critical acclaim and has been one of the most well-received books of the year. Honors include an Amazon Top Ten Books of 2011, Amazon’s #1 Teen Book of 2011, a Publishers Weekly Best Books 2011, a Huffington Post Top 10 YA Book of 2011, and a New York Times Notable Children’s Books of 2011.