Universal Wins Movie Rights to "Modern Love" Column "You May Want to Marry My Husband" (Exclusive)

Amy Krouse Rosenthal - Screengrab - H 2017

Amy Krouse Rosenthal, who had terminal cancer, created a dating profile for her husband in the heartbreaking New York Times essay.

Universal has won an intense bidding war for the film rights to The New York Times' "Modern Love" column "You May Want to Marry My Husband," written by late author Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Marc Platt, the veteran producer behind movies ranging from Legally Blonde to La La Land, is attached to produce the adaptation.

The studio beat out Paramount, Sony, Netflix and Studio 8, among others, with sources saying it paid at least mid-six figures against low-seven figures in the pricey deal.

Also figuring into the deal were the rights to Rosenthal's memoirs, Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life and Textbook.

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.

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 March 13 at the age of 51, and all deal talks were put on pause out of respect for her family by Storied Media Group, the entity shopping the rights. In late April, shopping started up again, with multiple studios tossing their hats into the ring for passionate if simmering bidding.

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. 

Rosenthal and her family were repped by Amy Rennert, Rosenthal’s longtime publishing agent, and WME in the deal. Storied Media repped The New York Times.