It looks like HarperCollins really is in the film business after all. After announcing in October the launch of Sharp Independent at HarperCollins, a side indie film project to mimic Random House's Random House Films, the publisher has kept mum about book-to-film projects in the pipeline. Today, from the Sundance Film Festival, HC finally announced a full slate of acquisitions, largely quashing looming questions about whether it was actually intending to make movies.
After publicly revealing Sharp Independent at HarperCollins' first project early this month, an adptation of Eli Gottlieb's forthcoming Now You See Him, the principal behind the venture, indie film producer Jeff Sharp, announced five new pending projects for the division from Park City, Ut.
Planned for film treatment are: Meg Cabot's The Queen of Babble (William Morrow 2008), a coming of age tale about a twentysomething who goes to London after graduating college; Live From Cape Canaveral, a nonfiction account of the space program from Jay Barbree, the only TV reporter to cover every manned NASA mission; The Space Between Us by Thrity Unmrigar, about two women in modern-day India; Mary South's memoir, The Cure for Anything is Salt Water, a "fish out of water" tale that traces her budding relationship with a man she meets while training at a sailing academy; and Willy Vlautin's Northline, which the publisher dubbed a Nashville-esque portrait that captures a cast of disparate characters living in Reno, Nev.
Sharp, who is president of Sharp Independent, said this lineup "speaks to the quality fiction and non-fiction titles that are available to us across the HarperCollins imprints." President and group publisher of Harper/Morrow, Michael Morrison, added that the films will, it's hoped, bring attention to big and small authors alike, offering "increased exposure and visibility not just for our bestselling franchises like Queen of Babble, but for newer authors like Will Vlautin.”