Universal Pictures has picked up an original sci-fi spec script titled Varietal from newcomer scribe Adam Bloom, a gemologist who didn’t even have an agent until several weeks ago.
Michael De Luca, the Oscar-nominated producer behind The Social Network and Universal’s Fifty Shades of Grey movies, will produce along with Lucy Kitada of Michael De Luca Productions.
The logline is being kept under wraps, but it is known to be a sci-fi-based psychological thriller centered on a married couple.
Universal’s director of development Chloe Yellin will oversee the project for the studio.
This is the first sale for Bloom, who is a Southern California-based gemologist who grades diamonds for the Gemological Institute of America. Describing himself as a bad novelist in college who turned into a bad screenwriter in college, Bloom moved to California in 2003, quickly falling into the world of gems.
Bloom admits that while writing was a passion, he “wasn’t always super focused” on it and even came close to giving up on his dream until about five years ago when he met his manager, Andrew Kersey. “I was writing stuff that had no chance of ever getting made and he helped me focus on projects that would generate excitement,” he said.
Working nights and weekend, Bloom wrote five scripts over the period. There were some nibbles from some producers but no bites. Then, in late 2017, he was forced to go on leave due to shoulder surgery.
“I was unable to work, and so I threw all my energy to write something,” said Bloom, adding, “Had I not had the surgery, I would still be on page five.”
The script, initially called Polly/Anna, was the one. It quickly garnered him an agent, Sheryl Petersen at APA, then a few weeks later, at the age of 38, he had his first sale.
Bloom is still in the laboratory by day, but about once a week he has been driving to Los Angeles for meetings. He’s already lined up rewrite work for XYZ Films and filmmaker Ciaran Foy.
“What started as a horrible thing turned into a blessing in disguise,” said Bloom.
He is additionally repped by the law firm Stone Genow.