This week in Page to Screen—PW's weekly column tracking film rights circulating and sold in Hollywood—Curtis Brown moves on Jeri Smith-Ready book, and Gotham shops an L.A.-teen-turned-Harvard-undergrad's novel.
Holly Frederick has just gotten some bites on a submission circulating for a little while now, Jeri Smith-Ready's Shade. The book, the first installment in an urban YA fantasy series, was bought by Simon Pulse at auction; it follows a Baltimore 16-year-old who is the first affected by an event dubbed the "shift"—a winter solstice that leaves everyone born after its occurrence with paranormal abilities. The heroine (and everyone younger than her) can communicate with ghosts, and she uses this ability to help her aunt, who runs a law firm dedicated to wrongful death claims. (A haunting plot, involving the main character's ex—who was born pre-shift—is also worked into the plot.) Two mini majors are still considering the manuscript as a possible feature, and Frederick is also taking it out now for small-screen consideration, talking to various TV producers. Frederick said she has "a list of people who want to see it for series television."
We also hear that Gotham Group is shopping the film rights to Isabel Kaplan's Hancock Park. The novel, originally acquired by Judith Regan, was published by Harper Teen late last month and is the debut of Kaplan, an L.A. teenager-cum-Harvard-undergrad. (The book was acquired, un-agented, when Kaplan was 16.) Pitched in the vein of Prep and Twelve, Hancock Park follows a wealthy Los Angeles teenager growing up too fast in a world of celebrity offspring and typical high school mean girls. Regan bought the manuscript from Kaplan directly, but Kaplan is now represented on the lit side by Erin Malone. A rep at Gotham said the manuscript is being taken out to producers for both film and TV.