A bunch of literary properties are about to make the jump to the big and small screen.
Universal Pictures has won a bidding war for B.B. Alston’s debut novel “Amari and the Night Brothers” which has Don Cheadle, Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman producing. The project is intended to be a starring vehicle for “black-ish” star Marsai Martin. The contemporary real-world fantasy follows a black girl who goes on a journey in which she discovers her hidden powers.
Next, Herschend Entertainment Studios has scored the film and TV rights to Garth Nix’s seven-novel fantasy series “The Keys to the Kingdom”. The books follow the adventures of 12-year-old Arthur Penhaligon, the reluctant hero and Rightful Heir to the House. For ten millennia, seven Trustees have collectively ruled over the universe. Arthur must defeat and dethrone the treasonous trustees, each of whom holds a different magical key and presides over a specific day of the week.
Netflix has optioned the rights for three novels from best-selling author Sarah Dessen – “Along for the Ride,” “This Lullaby” and “Once and for All”. ‘Ride’ will become a feature film which follows a young woman whose parents are divorcing and will be spending a carefree summer in a charming beach town with her dad and his new family. It’s here that she meets a loner and fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town.
Fox/Disney has acquired screen rights to “Jumanji” author Chris Van Allsburg’s “The Garden of Abdul Gasazi” with Darren Lemke (“Shazam”) set to adapt. The story follows a young boy named Alan who tries to rescue Miss Hester’s dog, Fritz from the great magician Abdul Gasazi when Fritz accidentally runs off into Gasazi’s forbidden garden.
Hulu has given a straight-to-series order for “Normal People,” adapted from Sally Rooney’s recent best-seller. Twelve half-hour episodes will be produced in association with Element Pictures and BBC Three. The story follows the tender but complicated relationship of Marianne and Connell from the end of their school days in a small town west of Ireland to their undergraduate years at Trinity College.
Finally, Start Media has optioned film and television rights to Jonathan Stroud’s award-winning four-book young adult fantasy series “The Bartimaeus Sequence”. The story follows ambitious teenage magician Nathaniel’s relationship with Bartimaeus, a five-thousand year old Djinni Bartimaeus summons in defiance of the magical laws governing the city of London.