'Alice Through the Looking Glass' Director to Helm Sci-Fi 'Punch Escrow' Movie (Exclusive)

Lionsgate picked up the debut novel's rights in a heated bidding war in April.
Left, Getty Images; Right, courtesy of Geek & Sundry
James Bobin; 'Punch Escrow'

James Bobin is feeling punchy.

The filmmaker, who last directed Alice Through the Looking Glass, has been tapped to tackle Lionsgate’s adaptation of The Punch Escrow, the upcoming debut novel by Tal M. Klein.

The book hails from rising tech company and publisher Inkshares, which will release the tome via its Geek & Sundry imprint July 25. Lionsgate won a heated war for the rights in April.

Set in the year 2147, Escrow tells of Joel Byram, who lives a normal life, spending his days training artificial-intelligence engines to act more human — until the day he's accidentally duplicated while teleporting. Now Joel must outsmart the shadowy organization that controls teleportation, and find a way to get back to the woman he loves in a world that now has two of him.

Founded in 2014, Inkshares is a reader-driven publisher based in Oakland, California. (Authors post a sample or pitch on Inkshares, and if the project gets 750 preorders, the website publishes it, providing the editing, design and distribution services of a traditional publisher.) Forthcoming titles from the company include works by newcomers like Jamie Dorn and novels from more established names like Mike Rich and James Demonaco. 

Bobin is one of the creators of the cult TV show Flight of the Conchords, who made his feature directorial debut with Disney’s The Muppets. He also wrote and directed the 2014 sequel, Muppets Most Wanted.

Bobin is repped by UTA and Sloane Offer. Klein and Inkshares are repped UTA and Howard Abramson.

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