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Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, who tackled teen themes with The O.C. and Gossip Girl, are entering the high school campus again, this time with a movie: 13 Minutes.
Coming on top of a bidding war, Netflix has picked up the rights to the British YA novel by Sarah Pinborough with Schwartz and Savage on board to write the adaptation and produce it via their Fake Empire banner. Michael De Luca and Underground’s Trevor Engelson also will produce.
The YA crime and psychological thriller has been described as Gone Girl–meets-Mean Girls in tone. The story centers on a popular high school student who dies under suspicious circumstances for 13 minutes before she is revived. The girl’s former best friend attempts to get back into her good graces by solving this would-be murder, but unwittingly steps into a hornet’s nest of social media driven manipulation and suburban secrets that puts her own life at risk.
De Luca Productions’ executive Lucy Kitada is executive producing as is Fake Empire’s Lis Rowinski.
The project has considerable pedigreed names behind it.
De Luca is a three-time Academy Award nominee for producing The Social Network, Moneyball and Captain Phillips. He last produced Fifty Shades of Grey.
Fake Empire already made a mark in literary adaptation with Cecily von Ziegesar’s Gossip Girl book series. Savage also adapted the best-selling Astronaut Wives Club by author Lily Koppel as an event series at ABC.
While Fake Empire usually concentrates on television, Schwartz and Savage are taking detours into film and adapting and producing Monster High, based on the billion-dollar Mattel toy franchise.
Schwartz, Savage and Fake Empire are repped by WME and attorney Joel McKuin.
Pinborough, who has made a name for herself in the supernatural horror and YA fantasy realms, is repped by Underground and attorney Dave Feldman.
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