This week in Page to Screen—PW's column tracking film rights circulating and sold in Hollywood—a Brokeback Mountain producer nabs a YA backlister, and an Amazon Breakthrough Novel winner gets looks in Hollywood.
Proving that Hollywood's interest in YA fare is showing no signs of waning—and is scouring the backlist for more—producer Diana Ossana (Brokeback Mountain) optioned Robin Brande's Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature, which Knopf published in 2007. The novel, Brande's debut, is about a high school girl who becomes unwittingly embroiled in local controversy after shining a light on an organized push to "de-gay" a classmate—she's ostracized by friends, her church and her family. Eric Reid at William Morris Endeavor brokered the deal on behalf of Laura Rennert, at Andrea Brown.
On the shopping front, Swanna McNair of Fletcher & Company is currently out with the film rights to James King's Bill Warrington's Last Chance. King, who won the top prize in Amazon's second annual Breakthrough Novel contest in May, landed a publishing deal with Viking as part of his winnings. Now, with his novel slated for a 2010 hardcover release—it follows a Korean War vet with Alzheimer's trying to patch up his relationships with his three adult children—McNair is reporting strong interest from the left coast, saying that a number of "studios and A-list directors" have been requesting the manuscript.