Weinstein Co. bound to book series


NEW YORK -- The Weinstein Co. and its Weinstein Books division are embarking on a multimedia adventure, acquiring two titles in a new children's book series, a film option on the novels and a rolling option for all print prequels and sequels.

The adventures begin with "Alex and the Ironic Gentleman," first-time author Adrienne Kress' chronicle of plucky 10-year-old orphan Alex Morningside's quest to free her schoolteacher from the clutches of evil pirates. The magical mission takes her aboard the Ironic Gentleman, a pirate ship where her teacher is held prisoner.

"Gentleman" will be published in fall 2007, with the unwritten and untitled sequel tentatively scheduled for the following fall. Weinstein Books president and CEO Rob Weisbach expects the series to continue with the same main characters, likely branching away from the pirate world and into different settings.

The books were brought to the attention of Weisbach by Brendan Deneen, the Weinstein Co.'s director of production and development, who helped arrange a film option on the series.

Kress studied acting at the University of Toronto and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts and has experience in local theater productions. She produced and directed one of her plays, "A Weekend in the Country," in Toronto and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

"Gentleman" has been acquired for the U.K. and Kress' native Canada by Scholastic U.K., for Italy by Edizioni EL, for Greece by Ellinika Grammata and for Germany by Arena.

Weisbach acquired the novels in a multipublisher auction conducted by Emma White of behalf of Julia Churchill and the Darley Anderson Agency in London.