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Chernin Entertainment is diving in for Challenger Deep, a YA novel about teen mental illness.
Neal Shusterman’s book, published by Harper Collins in April, follows a 15-year-old boy, Caden Bosch, who is afflicted with schizophrenia and imagines himself on a pirate ship voyaging through the Pacific Ocean.
Shusterman’s story is based on his own son Brendan’s struggle with mental illness and features Brendan’s illustrations throughout the novel.
Challenger Deep won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature in November, which sparked a competitive bidding situation for the film rights among producers and studios.
Shusterman will adapt his own novel and co-produce the film, with Chernin and Underground’s Trevor Engelson producing.
Shusterman, repped by APA, Underground and Katz Golden Rosenman, previously wrote the Unwind trilogy, and The Schwa Was Here, which won the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award and the California Young Reader Medal.
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