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Hollywood studios are in an intense bidding war for the film rights to The New York Times‘ “Modern Love” column “You May Want to Marry My Husband.”
Sources say that Universal, Paramount, Sony, Netflix and Studio 8 are in the thick of it, with bidding having crossed the $1 million mark.
Sources also say that emerging as the frontrunner — for now — is Universal, where La La Land producer Marc Platt is attached. (Different producers took the material into studios to which they respectively have strong ties.)
Another source said he believed the bidding would continue into next week.
Late author Amy Krouse Rosenthal wrote the piece, which was published March 3. In it, Rosenthal, who had terminal cancer, created a dating profile for her husband so he could find love again, after she’s gone. In the moving piece, she praises all his best qualities and the many ways she’s fallen in love with him throughout their 26 years together.
“I have never been on Tinder, Bumble or eHarmony, but I’m going to create a general profile for Jason right here, based on my experience of coexisting in the same house with him for, like, 9,490 days,” she wrote.
The piece became an instant sensation when it was published, and it immediately sparked strong interest from several producers and studios. However, Rosenthal, a Chicago-based writer known for her memoir Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, died on March 13 at the age of 51, and all deal talks were put on pause out of respect for her family by the entity shopping the rights, Storied Media Group. But in recent weeks, bidding has started up again, with multiple studios fighting for the rights.
Rosenthal also wrote more than 30 children’s books and produced short films and YouTube videos.
Multiple “Modern Love” columns have been optioned by Hollywood in the last decade. None have yet made it to the big screen.
The Times‘ “Modern Love” column started in 2004, showcasing the dating, love and loss stories of individuals. In 2016, Modern Love: The Podcast, a new weekly series from WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station, was launched to expand the franchise. Stars such as David Oyelowo, Emmy Rossum, Jason Alexander and Ruth Negga have narrated the stories.
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