Penguin Random House is deepening its commitment to bringing more of its books to movie screens. Through a two-year first-look agreement with Universal Pictures, which will be overseen by Random House Studios head Peter Gethers, PRH will be a producer on projects developed.
The Universal deal follows a similar agreement to develop TV projects that PRH inked with production/distribution unit FremantleMedia.
Like the TV deal, the one with Universal is aimed at adapting PRH books into films. Titles targeted will be those which, as PRH explained in its announcement, "motion picture rights are available and can be acquired in cooperation with the authors' agents." Both backlist and frontlist titles will be in the mix, and PRH said it will also consider "original ideas" for potential adaptation. The publisher said it would also aim to ensure authors works are "translated as faithfully as possible," and that "cross-promotional sales opportunities" are created for their books.
Universal has a number of PRH titles under option, or in production, including the first title in E.L. James' Fifty Shades trilogy; that film is set for a February 13, 2015 release. Another major PRH book Universal is working on is Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken, which Angelina Jolie is directing, and which is set for a Christmas Day release.
UTA negotiated the deal on behalf of PRH.