Allen's Vulcan 'Falls' for rights to Caletti series


Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's Vulcan Prods. has acquired rights to "Nine Mile Falls," Deb Caletti's five-book series for young adults.

Seattle-based Vulcan will work with producer-director Rick Stevenson and Caletti to develop the Simon & Schuster coming-of-age novels into a series of TV films, marking the production outfit's first foray into small-screen features.

The company is in preliminary talks with several networks interested in co-producing the films, all of which revolve around the challenges of 16- to 19-year-old girls in the fictional Seattle-area town of Nine Mile Falls. "They are tough, smart young women navigating the minefield of growing up," Vulcan vp media development Richard Hutton said.

The first film will be Stevenson's adaptation of Caletti's 2005 National Book Award-finalist novel, "Honey, Baby, Sweetheart." It follows Ruby, a girl who falls for a dangerous motorcyclist over the objections of her mother.

Other "Falls" books planned for the small screen are 2004's "The Queen of Everything," 2006's "Wild Roses," 2007's "The Nature of Jade" and "The Fortunes of Indigo Skye," which is set for release in April.

The Seattle-based Stevenson, director of TriStar Pictures' "Magic in the Water" and the film fest favorite "Expiration Date," brought the project to Vulcan.

Founded by Allen in 1997, Vulcan has produced such films as "Far From Heaven," "Hard Candy" and the Humanitas Prize-winning drama "Where God Left His Shoes." It also is behind such documentary TV series as "Rx for Survival: A Global Health Challenge" and "The Blues."