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Picturestart, the company run by Erik Feig, has preemptively picked up the film rights to Chosen Ones, the upcoming new novel by Veronica Roth, the author of the best-selling Divergent book series.
The deal marks a reunion of the team that brought Divergent to the big screen: Feig acquired the rights to Divergent when he was the head of Summit Entertainment and will now produce, as will Pouya Shahbazian, one of the original Divergent producers. Roth will also act as a producer.
Joining this team are producers Marty Bowen and Isaac Klausner of Temple Hill, the banner behind big-name adaptations such as Twilight and The Maze Runner. Picturestart’s Lucy Kitada will also produce.
Chosen Ones is billed as Roth’s first adult novel but does tackle similar themes that first made her a household name among the teen set, this time taking on what happens after you step up and save the world.
The story takes place once again in Chicago, where the world only recently discovered that magic is real. The book follows Sloane Andrews, one of the “Famous Five,” then-teens who defeated a villain known as the Dark One more than a decade earlier and now, in adulthood, grapple with PTSD, fractured relationships, rabid media scrutiny and, worst of all, the prospect that their mission might not be finished yet after all.
The title will be published simultaneously with Audible, featuring a celebrity voice cast, and starring Dakota Fanning as the voice of Sloane Andrews.
Picturestart focuses on discovering new and emerging voices in terms of content and storytelling. The company recently wrapped Unpregnant, the teen road-trip comedy that will be released on WarnerMedia’s HBOMax, and is developing Yasuke, that true story about Japan’s first African samurai with Chadwick Boseman attached; and Grease: Summer Nights for Paramount.
Temple Hill made a name for itself with its hit book adaptations, not just with The Twilight Saga and Runner but also The Fault in Our Stars, and Love, Simon among others. Amid movies in the can is Fatherhood, which adapts Two Kisses for Maddy and stars Kevin Hart.
Shahbazian, who was a producer on all three Divergent films, is currently in post on two series, Netflix’s adaptation of Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow & Bone, with Academy Award-nominated writer Eric Heisserer showrunning, as well as Hulu’s Love, Victor, based on Love, Simon, which he produced along with Temple Hill.
In addition to the Divergent franchise, Roth wrote her Carve the Mark duology, with her book series selling more than 42 million copies. She also wrote short fiction, including Ark, which appeared in last fall’s Forward anthology, as well as her own story collection, The End and Other Beginnings.
Roth is repped by Joanna Volpe of New Leaf Literary & Media and attorney Steve Younger of Myman Greenspan.
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