New Line Picks Up Ben Mezrich's Sci-Fi Book Proposal '37th Parallel' (Exclusive)

Ben Mezrich - H 2015
<p>Ben Mezrich - H 2015</p>   |   AP Images
Beau Flynn, who discovered the true-life figure behind the book, will produce via his New Line-based banner.

New Line has pre-emptively picked up The 37th Parallel, a book proposal by one of Hollywood’s favorite authors, Ben Mezrich, for a feature adaptation to be produced by Beau Flynn and his FlynnPictureCo.

The project is based on the true story of Chuck Zukowski, an extraterrestrial investigator.

In a true-life crossing of elements from X-Files and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the story focuses on Zukowski’s incredible findings of alien sightings, cattle mutilations, Native American holy sites and secret government activity located on the 37th degree of latitude. Coupled with that is conspiracy involving a multibillion dollar corporation.

The project’s roots sprouted from Flynn, who found Zukowski. He pitched the idea to Mezrich, who sparked to it, and at the same time acquired Zukowski’s life rights. The life rights have now been transferred to New Line.

Brett Ratner and his RatPac Entertainment, which publish many of Mezrich’s books, will come on to produce in some capacity.

Wendy Jacobson is overseeing for FlynnPictureCo.

The deal marks the second one this week for Mezrich, coming on the heels of Warner Bros. optioning his upcoming book, Once Upon a Time in Russia: The Rise of the Oligarchs — A True Story of Ambition, Wealth, Betrayal, and Murder. Mezrich’s books have inspired adaptations 21 and, more famously, The Social Network.

And the project reunites FlynnPictureCo. with Mezrich and RatPac. The trio already have Seven Wonders, an adventure project based around the Seven Wonders of the World, set up at Fox.

FlynnPictureCo.’s next movie is the Dwayne Johnson disaster movie San Andreas, which opens May 29.

CAA brokered the deal on behalf of Mezrich.