Skip to main content
Adaptations in Development

Adaptations in Development – December 2019

By January 13, 2020September 8th, 2020No Comments

Over at Script Pipeline, we have been tracking notable script sales for the past ten years to give screenwriters a sense of the current trends in the film industry. This year, we’ll start tracking all novels and other literary works in development as well, from acquisitions of soon-to-be-published manuscripts to adaptations of novels originally published decades ago. Although these aren’t all of the novels that found homes in Hollywood, here are some of the most notable ones from last month:

– Lionsgate will adapt Tomie dePaola’s children’s book series Strega Nona for film. Originally published in 1975, Simon & Schuster recently reprinted the series in 2017. Weston Woods Studios previously adapted the material as an animated short in 1977.

– Journalist Madeline Leung Coleman’s article “How Chinese Food Fueled the Rise of California Punk” will be adapted by Topic Studios, the production arm of, where the article was originally published. Awkwafina is set to produce and star.

– Media Rights Capital and Handmade Films Ltd. have acquired the film, TV, and stage rights to the children’s book series Eloise. Written by Kay Thompson and illustrated by Hilary Knight, the series was published by Simon & Schuster, starting with Eloise: A Book for Precocious Grown-ups in 1955.

– Peccadillo Pictures picked up Robin Maugham’s queer thriller The Wrong People. The 1967 novel, originally published by Paperback Library, had been previously optioned by Sal Mineo. David McGillivray is set to script and direct the adaptation.

– Sherry Jones’ biographical novel Josephine Baker’s Last Dance was optioned by Paula Patton’s Third Eye Productions. Simon & Schuster’s imprint Gallery published the novel in December 2018, and Patton is set to produce and star.

– Blumhouse and Universal Pictures acquired Katrina Brooker’s untitled nonfiction book about the controversy surrounding WeWork’s failed IPO. The book will be published by W.W. Norton, and Charles Randolph is set to script the adaptation.

– Alex Ross Perry will write/direct an adaptation of Stephen King’s novel The Dark Half for MGM. Viking published the book in 1989, and George A. Romero previously adapted it in 1993.

– Enderby Entertainment has picked up Julie Cohen’s novel The Two Lives of Louis & Louise, published in January 2019 by Orion Publishing. Lisa James Larsson will produce and direct.

– Universal Pictures, Pascal Pictures, and Chris Morgan Productions have optioned Alexandra Andrews’ debut novel Under Another Name. Little, Brown and Company will publish the thriller in March 2021.

– Warner Bros. and John M. Chu’s Chu Studios have acquired Mary H.K. Choi’s YA novel Permanent Record. Simon & Schuster’s Books for Young Readers published the book in September 2019. Chu is set to script the adaptation and may direct as well.

– David Ayer is set to script/direct an adaptation of The Dirty Dozen for Warner Bros. and Genre Films. E.M. Nathanson’s bestseller was originally published in 1965 by Random House before it was made into the MGM film in 1967.

– Over at Fox Searchlight, Prentice Penny has been tapped to adapt The Compton Cowboys, based on the nonfiction book by Walter Thompson-Hernandez. Harper Collins is set to release the novel in April 2020.

– Martin Helgeland to adapt Kem Nunn’s novel Tapping The Source for Universal. Nunn’s mystery novel was published in March 1984 by Doubleday.

– The Gotham Group and Baz Luhrmann’s Baz & Co. acquired the rights to Mikhail Bulgakov’s 1967 novel The Master and Margarita.

– 101 Studios, Select Films, and Yarn Film group acquired the film and TV rights to L.A. Times sports journalist Bill Plaschke’s upcoming nonfiction book Paradise Found.

– Dorit Rabinyan’s Borderlife (a.k.a. All the Rivers) was acquired by Keshet Studios and Pilot Wave. Originally written in Hebrew, the novel was published in English by Random House. Gal Gadot will produce.

– Focus Features and Will Packer Productions acquired Amber Garza’s upcoming novel When I Was You (to be published august 2020 by MIRA).

Learn more