Children's fantasy series are popping up faster than you can say "Narnia," but one standout title generating heat in Hollywood is Monster Blood Tattoo: Foundling (Putnam, May), including serious interest from the Jim Henson Company, according to one scout. The first in a planned trilogy by first-time author D.M. Cornish, Foundling centers on a boy who leaves his orphanage to become a lamplighter for the Emperor and finds himself thrust into a mock-medieval world where man battles monster. IPG's Jerry Kalajian has the book out on submission on behalf of Scholastic Australia, which owns the film rights.
A Gothic Reborn
Elton John's musical adaptation of Anne Rice's Lestat may have fizzled, but the gothic-turned-spiritual novelist hasn't lost faith in Hollywood. Good News Holdings, a tyro multimedia studio that specializes in developing and distributing faith-based media, has optioned the rights to the author's Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt(Knopf, 2005), and is conversing with studios. Told from the perspective of a seven-year-old Jesus, the first book of the planned series begins with his family's departure from Egypt to Nazareth. Rice, who infamously adapted her Interview with the Vampire for the screen, will also pen the script for this targeted Christmas 2007 release. The deal was negotiated by CAA's Richard Greene, after Rice was approached by Good News Holdings'David Kirkpatrick.
Deporter on Tour
With stories about Guantanamo Bay and U.S. treatment of suspected terrorist detainees flooding the news, producers looking for a nonfiction political thriller may find Ames Holbrook's The Deporter (Penguin, 2008)—not to be confused with Martin Scorsese's upcoming police drama The Departed—worth consideration. Currently being shopped around Hollywood by the Jean Naggar Literary Agency's Jennifer Weltz, Holbrook's book spans his career as a deportation officer who shipped dangerous aliens back to their native lands in defiance of red tape— bound politicians. The first Gulf War vet's account also details how his illicit activities eventually lost him his fiancée, his sense of self and his job. Weltz reps Holbrook for lit and film.
Correction: In "Sean Penn Goes Wild" (Mar. 20), the film deal for Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild was negotiated by Martin Shapiro at the Shapiro-Lichtman Talent Agency on behalf of John Ware at the John A. Ware Literary Agency.