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Oscar-nominated screenwriter David Arata, who co-wrote Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men, and Angela LaManna (The Punisher, Hannibal) are turning novels into movies for the digital storytelling app Wattpad.
The projects are part of Wattpad’s new Development Fund that enables the digital startup to finance early development for select TV and film projects. Deanna Cameron’s What Happened That Night, published by Wattpad Books in 2019, will be adapted by Arata.
The novel follows a woman named Clara after her boyfriend is murdered by her sister, which lands her in a desperate race to absolve her sister’s name and discover the true killer. Arata has also written movie screenplays for Brokedown Palace and Spy Game, and he recently wrote Netflix’s The Angel and the sci-fi film Inversion, now in preproduction.
T.L. Bodine’s The Hound, to be adapted by LaManna, portrays an antique store owner bringing home a Victorian taxidermy hound from auction, only to unleash dark forces on her wife and son. LaManna’s other credits include The Haunting of Bly Manor and the limited series Behind Her Eyes for Netflix and Syfy’s Channel Zero.
Wattpad uses its data-driven machine-learning technology to identify YA and other projects for movie and TV producers. But the Toronto-based startup has begun developing film versions of its own after the success of Netflix’s The Kissing Booth and the 2019 romancer After, which started out as One Direction fan fiction on Wattpad.
“With these new film projects, we’re expanding our investment in early stage development, adapting incredible stories for new formats and helping them find new fans everywhere,” said Aron Levitz, head of Wattpad Studios, in a statement.
Levitz, Eric Lehrman and Lindsey Ramey will produce the projects for Wattpad. The company’s other TV and film projects in development include She’s with Me and Death is My BFF with Sony Pictures Television; and The Numbered and Kairos with Entertainment One.
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