Prison Uprising Book 'Blood in the Water' Sells to TriStar in Bidding War (Exclusive)

Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy Cover - Publicity - P 2016
Courtesy of Penguin Random House

Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy Cover - Publicity - P 2016

Writing duo Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse will pen the script, while Amy Pascal and Rachel O’Connor will produce.

Amy Pascal and her production banner Pascal Pictures and TriStar Pictures have won a heated bidding war for the rights to the book Blood in the Water, which chronicles the Attica prison riot of 1971.

Heather Ann Thompson’s book, which hit shelves Tuesday, is a gripping account of the infamous prison uprising that involved nearly 1,300 inmates. The four-day event involved prisoners holding guards and civilian employees hostage as they negotiated with state officials for improved living conditions. In the end, armed state troopers stormed the facility, leaving 39 men dead and hundreds injured. The book contains revelations about what occurred during the violent riots and how the government attempted to cover it up.

Sources say there were at least five studios and production companies bidding on the hot property.

Pascal and Rachel O’Connor will produce the project, which will be written by Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse. The writing duo has been quickly rising up the ranks after penning Focus Features' Race, the Jesse Owens biopic, and Fox Searchlight’s upcoming film The Aftermath, which will star Alexander Skarsgard, Keira Knightley and Jason Clarke. They have also worked on several high-profile projects recently, including Sony’s The Grey Man, which has Christopher McQuarrie attached to direct and Charlize Theron set to star, and Warner Bros.' sequel Edge of Tomorrow 2.

Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse are repped by CAA, Grandview, the Curtis Brown Group in the U.K. and MARKS Law Group.

CAA repped the book in the deal and Pascal Pictures' Ian Dalrymple negotiated the deal.