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MAR
22
2 YEARS

Columbia Picks Up Movie Rights to YA Novel 'Seeker' (Exclusive)

Mark Gordon, the producer whose credits include "Speed," "Saving Private Ryan" and "Source Code," will produce the adaptation.

Mark Gordon
Producer Mark Gordon

Columbia Pictures has preemptively acquired the rights to Arwen Elys Dayton’s upcoming YA novel Seeker, with the Mark Gordon Company attached to produce the adaptation.

The novel, from Delacorte Press, is described as a mix of science fiction and fantasy and is the first of an intended trilogy.

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The story, according to the studio, focuses on a young girl named Quin Kincaid “who has been put through years of brutal training for what she thinks is the noble purpose of becoming a revered 'Seeker.' Only when it's too late does she discover she will be using her new found knowledge and training to become an assassin.” The events take the girl around the globe, from a remote estate in Scotland to a bustling, futuristic Hong Kong.

The book won’t be published until 2015, but Columbia execs are already quite high on it.

“Arwen has created a cast of characters and world that transcends the Young Adult genre and offers a rich cinematic opportunity,” said president of production Hannah Minghella. “The best science fiction and fantasy stories are a metaphor for a grounded universal truth and Arwen perfectly captures the emotionally complex awakening all young people have that the world is not black and white, parents are not perfect and ultimately we all have to be Seekers of our own truth."

The movie deal comes on the heels of the publishing deal, which went down last week. Delacorte picked up the rights in a competitive environment, sealing it up for high six-figures.  

Minghella will oversee the production for the studio with Rachel O’Connor and Eric Fineman

Michele Wolkoff, Mark Gordon Co. executive vice president of production, who recently came over from Timur Bekmambetov's Bazelevs Productions, will oversee for the shingle. Wolkoff was instrumental in the acquisition, according to insiders.

Gordon is exec producer behind shows such as Grey’s Anatomy and Criminal Minds; feature-wise the veteran producer’s credits range from Speed and Broken Arrow to Source Code.

Santa Monica-based Dayton previously wrote Resurrection, an adult sci-fi / fantasy novel that hailed from Amazon’s 47 North imprint and became a Kindle best-seller, hitting No. 2 on the overall chart. Seeker is her YA debut.

Dayton is repped by Kassie Evashevski of UTA and Jodi Reamer at Writer's House.