Farrar, Straus and Giroux has picked up the rights to Jeff VanderMeer’s newest novel, Borne, for a mid-six-figure advance. Publication is expected in 2016.
Borne is set in the future, where a woman named Rachel, scavenging for usable detritus, stumbles upon a creature she calls the Borne, whose origins and composition are mysterious. Is it an animal or plant? A deity, or a cruel experiment? A brief tease of dialogue hints at the premise:
“Am I a person?” Borne asks Rachel, in extremis.
“Yes, you are a person,” Rachel tells him. “But like a person, you can be a weapon, too.”
VanderMeer is best known as the author of the bestselling Southern Reach trilogy, which includes Annihilation, Authority and Acceptance. The series is about a place called Area X, which has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades, leaving nature to flourish in the absence of human civilization. But as humans begin to venture back in, eager to reclaim this Edenic landscape, bad things happen: suicides, violent fighting, cancers.
The trilogy made The New York Times bestseller list. Stephen King called it “creepy and fascinating” and the Times dubbed VanderMeer the “weird Thoreau.”
Movie rights to the trilogy have been picked up by Scott Rudin, with Ex Machina’s Alex Garland attached to write and direct. Natalie Portman is in talks for a potential role.
Sally Harding at The Cooke Agency represented VanderMeer on the book deal. Joseph Veltre at Gersh is handling film rights. Sean McDonald acquired the book for FSG.