MRC and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way are teaming up to adapt The Shining Girls, written by Lauren Beukes and generating buzz as one of this summer’s must-reads.
The two companies, however, are not aiming for a feature adaptation but rather intend to develop the project for television.
MRC has picked up the rights with Appian executive producing. John Ridley, vp production at the shingle, identified the book and brought it to MRC. The project marks a rare but splashy foray into TV for Appian, which previously made the environmental reality show Greensburg.
Shining Girls doesn’t come out until June 4, but it’s already generating praise for its mix of historical fiction, gritty crime and sci-fi, including a favorable early review in The New York Times and strong buzz from librarians and booksellers who read early galley copies.
The novel tells the story of a serial killer named Harper Curtis who discovers a house in Depression-era Chicago that allows him to time travel through the decades. To keep traveling, he must kill “shining girls,” girls burning bright with talent and potential.
One of his victims, Kirby Mazrachi, survives and teams up with an ex-homicide reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times in order to bring the killer to justice.
Beukes is a South African writer who also wrote Moxyland and Zoo City, whose film rights were acquired by South African producer Helena Spring.
While better known for its involvement in such movies as Ted and the upcoming Elysium, MRC has made waves in TV as the company behind Netflix’s House of Cards. It also produced HBO’s The Ricky Gervais Show and The Life and Times of Tim.