Self-publishing success Hugh Howey has sold film rights to his science fiction series Wool to 20th Century Fox. The author turned down a number of offers from American publishers after his multi-part series began selling briskly online and, instead, was focusing on selling foreign rights, along with film rights, to his work. The Fox deal has also closed alongside a major UK rights acquisition, with Wool, as well as Howey's Shift Trilogy, selling to British house Century at auction.
Wool, which Century likened to The Road, is set in a future world in which the air is no longer breathable and a surviving faction of human beings live in an underground silo. The UK rights deal was handled by Jenny Meyer, of Jenny Meyer Literary, on behalf of agent Kristin Nelson, of Kritsin Nelson Literary, while Kassie Evashevski, at United Talent Agency, closed the film sale. Partnering with Fox on the film deal are Ridley and Tony Scott's production company, Scott Free, as well as Steve Zaillian's outfit, Film Rites.
While Wool has also sold in a number of other countries--among them Spain, Brazil and China--Century is currently the only English language publisher of the series, aside from Howey himself, who continues to sell the series on his own in the States. Century is planning a hardcover edition of Wool, which Howey published over a series of installments, in January 2013; the house is releasing an e-book edition immediately.