EXCLUSIVE: Two months before the book is due out, producers Paul Mazur and Mitchell Kaplan have optioned film rights to Jean Zimmerman’s The Orphan Master. The historical serial-killer thriller, set in the New Amsterdam of 1633, will be published by Viking on June 19. Mazur and Kaplan, whose Mazur Kaplan Company along with Kevin McCormick optioned the Helen Simonson bestseller Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand last year, are currently in pre-production on The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society, starring Kate Winslet and directed by Kenneth Branagh. Zimmerman is repped by Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency in association with CAA.
EXCLUSIVE: Producers Paula Mazur, Mitchell Kaplan and Kevin McCormick have acquired screen rights to the Helen Simonson novel Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand. Jack Thorne has been hired to write the script for a film that will be a co-production between the Mazur Kaplan Company and McCormick’s Warner Bros-based Langley Park Pictures. Published in 2010 by Random House, the book focuses on a retired and widowed British army major who falls in love with the Pakistani woman who runs their countryside village’s local convenience store. The novel his the bestseller list when it was published. Mazur Kaplan is funding development. Thorne is a British playwright whose first film was The Scouting Book for Boys. He just adapted the Nick Hornby novel A Long Way Down and has also written for the UK series Skins. UTA made the book deal for Barer Literary and Thorne’s repped by Casarotto Ramsay & Associates.
Elizabeth Gabler’s Fox 2000, one of the more prolific studio book buyers, has closed a deal for screen rights on Delirium, the Lauren Oliver novel which hit the New York Times bestseller list for childrens books in its first week of release. At the same time, Fox 2000 has a first look on all future books written by Oliver, and has signed a first look deal with Paper Lantern Lit, the company that Oliver co-founded, for titles generated under that banner. Delirium is set in a dystopian world where love is treated as a curable disease and compassion and affection are forbidden weaknesses. The book was originally optioned by producer Paula Mazur and Miami bookseller Mitchell Kaplan through their Mazur Kaplan Company.
Oliver wrote Before I Fall, the story of a high school girl who relives her last day on earth. That book was adapted for Fox 2000 by Maria Maggenti and is being produced by Jon Shestack. Fox 2000’s Carla Hacken is supervising both projects.
Oliver hatched Paper Lantern Lit last year with Lexa Hillyer, specializing in fiction for young readers. They’ve set up 13 books so far.