Cold War Nailbiter
A new Tom Clancy thriller? Try real life. The account of how a Soviet K-129 ballistic missile sub was almost able to attack Hawaii while disguised as a Chinese vessel during the Cold War, Kenneth Sewell and Clint Richmond's Red Star Rogue: The Untold Story of a Soviet Submarine's Nuclear Strike Attempt on the U.S. (S&S, 2005) has all the makings of an event film—which is exactly Warner Bros.' plan. The studio has optioned the title for Gambit Pictures principals Michael Hackett (a producer on 2003's Paycheck) and screenwriter George Nolfi (Ocean's Twelve). Let's hope for more The Hunt for Red October—style intrigue, less U-571 or K-19:The Widowmaker theatrics. APA's Steve Fisher negotiated the six-figure deal on behalf of John Talbot of the Talbot Fortune Agency and Jim Hornfischer of Hornfischer Literary Management.
Izzy Spellman, PI
Move over, Nancy Drew! There's an older, wiser and more rebellious sleuth on the block: Isabel "Izzy" Spellman. The 28-year-old heroine of Lisa Lutz's first novel, The Spellman Files (S&S), won't make her official debut until spring 2007, but her tale immediately caught the attention of several studios. Paramount optioned the book for producer Laura Ziskin (the Spider-Man movies; Stealth) in a high six-figure deal. Unlike her titian-haired predecessor, Izzy comes from a family of PIs who use their talents to not only crack cases but also to pry into each other's personal lives. The Gersh Agency's Sarah Self closed the deal. Lutz is repped by Stephanie Kip Rostan at the Levine Greenberg Literary Agency for lit.
Sang the Blues
Surviving adolescence is hard enough; throw in a biracial heritage, and the potential for chaos escalates. Sangeet Jumnal, the 15-year-old heroine of Marie Lamba's debut YA novel What I Meant (due from Random House in summer 2007), is forbidden to date by her Indian father, and accused of being a bulimic by her American mother. Sang must also fend off a traitorous friend and an evil aunt who's framing her for theft—tough for Sang, but excellent for Hollywood. Several production companies seem eager, including What Women Want producer Susan Cartsonis's Store Front Pictures. Lamba is repped by Jennifer DeChiara at the Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency.