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The Ink Factory, the London and L.A.-based banner behind BBC/AMC hit The Night Manager, is partnering with Oscar-nominated producer Marc Platt (La La Land, Bridge of Spies) and Adam Siegel (Drive, 2 Guns) on an adaptation of We Were Never Here. As yet, it is unknown if the adaptation will be for TV or film.
The debut novel by Lara Prescott, We Were Never Here, is based on events surrounding the publication of Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago and the role the CIA played in using the book as a weapon of propaganda for the West. It has already been sold in 25 countries and will be published by Knopf in the U.S. in the fall of 2019 and Hutchinson in the U.K.
Set in the 1950s at the height of the Cold War, We Were Never Here centers on a plan by the CIA to engineer the publication of Pasternak’s controversial novel Doctor Zhivago in his home country. Despite the fact that he was Russia’s greatest living author, the authorities there ordered the manuscript destroyed and the book banned due to themes they considered critical of the regime. The CIA smuggled the manuscript out of Russia, had it translated and then smuggled the book back into the country, where it was used as anti-socialist propaganda. The story is told through the voices of the women at the center of the mission, including Pasternak’s mistress and muse, Olga Ivinskaya, and Irina, a young CIA recruit.
APA’s Lucy Stille represents film and television rights to the book and put together the deal with The Ink Factory and Marc Platt Productions. The deal was negotiated by Stille alongside Jeff Kleinman and Jamie Chambliss at Folio Literary Management and by Yogita Puri for The Ink Factory.
“In its ambition, scope and execution, We Were Never Here is a remarkable novel by any standards, and as a first novel, breathtaking,” said The Ink Factory’s Simon Cornwell. “The greatest spy stories are also great love stories. Lara’s wonderful book delivers on all that promise and more, and we couldn’t be more excited to be setting out on the journey of bringing her characters and story to the screen than with our friends and colleagues Adam and Marc.”
Added Prescott: “I’m thrilled by the interest in adapting my novel. And I’m such a huge fan of The Ink Factory, Marc Platt and Adam Seigel. I know the story is in excellent hands.”
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