AFM: Covert Media Plans YA Adaptation 'Need' With Female Writer-Director Team (Exclusive)

Need Cover - Publicity - P 2016
Courtesy of HMH Books for Young Readers

The thriller centers on a networking site that grants users every desire. For a price.

The young adult novel Need is getting the feature film treatment from the writer-director team Samantha Buck and Marie Schlingmann.

Covert Media will fully finance and produce the adaptation, and will also handle worldwide sales.

YA author Joelle Charbonneau's Need is set at a Wisconsin high school, where students engage in a new social networking site that grants their every desire. The story follows Kaylee, who needs only one thing — a kidney for her younger brother. But Kaylee and the other students slowly begin to find out that there is a high — possibly fatal — price to pay for getting everything they want.

Need is a fan favorite YA novel that we know will make for an exciting and chilling look at the world of social media,” said Covert CEO Paul Hanson. “With the fresh perspective of the creative team we have in Samantha and Marie and the twists and turns of Joelle’s novel, this is a film that already has us on the edge of our seats.”

Covert’s Elissa Friedman will executive produce the feature, along with Media Content Capital’s Sasha Shapiro and Anton Lessine.

Buck and Schlingmann, graduates of Columbia University's MFA film program, are the filmmaking duo behind the Peabody Award-winning feature documentary Best Kept Secret. They are repped by Lee Stobby Entertainment and Litcher Grossman.

Covert Media plans to introduce the project to buyers at the American Film Market, where the company is shopping a number of projects including Ophelia, a splashy Shakespeare reimagining that is set to star Star Wars stand-out Daisy Ridley.