This week in Page to Screen—PW's weekly column tracking film rights circulating and sold in Hollywood—producers clamor for the hero of the Somali-pirate showdown and a TV scribe gets some first looks for his YA novel.
Although we continue to hear that it's all quiet on the Western front, so to speak, with books making the rounds in Hollywood—a few insiders speculate that the William Morris-Endeavor merger, and the unrest it continues to create among agents on both coasts, may be bottle-necking business—the big man on the scene is Capt. Richard Phillips. Publishers and producers alike are clamoring for rights to Phillips's story, about giving himself up to Somali pirates (to save his crew) and then being himself saved by American Navy Seals. The heroics and the real-life drama made Phillips a media sensation last month and, as we reported earlier this week, a number of publishers are currently competing in an auction for a book from Phillips. CAA, which represents Phillips's life rights—and therefore brokers all deals Phillips makes for any potential dramatic account of his tale—is, we hear, getting quite a few offers from producers.
Also making the rounds is a YA debut novel by TV writer Adam Gilab called Labvil. (Gilab, who won an Emmy, has written for various animated kids' shows, including Gargoyles and The Mask.) Joel Gotler at IPG is handling the film rights and it sounds interesting: a young boy has to save his best friend from a mad scientist who's keeping her captive in a place populated by the half child/half animal mutants he's genetically engineered. Gotler said he's pitching it as Goosebumps meets Anamorphs.