Rights Available! John Grisham Returns While Bitcoin Tale May Generate Buzz

Grisham's 'Rogue Lawyer' and David Kushner's "The Rise and Fall of a Bitcoin Kingpin" are ready for optioning.
Courtesy of Penguin Random House
John Grisham's 'Rouge Lawyer'

This story first appeared in the Sept. 11 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

The last week of summer brings a pair of oldies back to the fore — and one cutting-edge story. The oldies first: John Grisham was Hollywood's favorite author in the early 1990s. The Firm, A Time to Kill, The Pelican Brief and The Client grossed a combined $734 million between 1993 and 1996. He's still one of the best-selling authors in the country, reliably churning out one of the year's 10 best-selling books each fall. His newest, about a street lawyer, comes out in October. Also generating interest this week is Ira Levin's (Rosemary's Baby) 45-year-old novel, This Perfect Day — one of only two of his books not to be adapted yet — which is circulating around Hollywood. The timely story is about citizens being tracked by computer. The other cyber-centric story generating interest this week is a thriller about the biggest bitcoin heist in the online currency's relatively short history.

Rogue Lawyer (Doubleday) by John Grisham
Agency: RWSG

He might not have the same Hollywood heat he had during the early '90s (the last Grisham adaptation, 2004's Christmas With the Kranks, grossed $74 million), but the author still has seven titles in development. His latest novel, out Oct. 20, centers on a street lawyer who takes the clients others avoid.

"The Rise and Fall of a Bitcoin Kingpin" by David Kushner
Agency: CAA

The Social Network meets Mr. Robot in this Rolling Stone article about Mark Karpeles, who went from odd geek to bitcoin mogul and then lost half a billion dollars of the digital currency in the largest online heist in history.

This Perfect Day by Ira Levin
Agency: Harold Ober & Associates

Ira Levin’s This Perfect Day first hit bookshelves 45 years ago (and just got its first ebook version in February), but the thriller about a dystopian future is suddenly a hot property in Hollywood. Don Laventhall at Harold Ober & Associates is shopping the novel, which is generating keen interest from producers and studios given that the late author and playwright was one of the most Hollywood-friendly writers of his era. Five of his novels (Rosemary’s Baby, The Boys From Brazil and Sliver) and three of his plays (Deathtrap, No Time for Sergeants and Critic’s Choice) have been adapted to the big screen. His first novel, A Kiss Before Dying, was turned into a movie twice, in 1956 and 1991, as was The Stepford Wives (1975 and 2004). This Perfect Day, which was written as sci-fi at time, has become particularly timely given that it is set in a technocratic society whose citizens are tracked by a global central computer called UniComp that has been programmed to keep every single human on the planet in check. The plot harkens our own current society where a handful of companies like Facebook and government agencies such as the NSA track and keep data on large swaths of the global population. This Perfect Day is one of two of Levin's novels yet to be adapted to film (the other being Son of Rosemary, the sequel to Rosemary's Baby). But given that Levin, who died in 2007 at the age of 78, has attracted the likes of Gregory Peck, Laurence Olivier, Mia Farrow, Sharon Stone and Nicole Kidman over the years, look for a big name to become quickly attached.

 

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