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The battle for Jonathan Franzen’s upcoming novel Crossroads has a winner.
Following a highly competitive bidding war, Michael Ellenberg’s Media Res has landed the rights to Crossroads, the author’s first in a planned Key to All Mythologies trilogy. Ellenberg, whose Media Res is behind shows like Apple’s The Morning Show, plans to develop Crossroads into a high-end scripted series and shop it to premium cable networks and streamers.
The 1970s-set novel revolves around the members of a Chicago family who each seek a freedom that the others threaten to complicate. The title, which will debut Oct. 5, is already generating impressive reviews with the New York Times calling it a “mellow, marzipan-hued ’70s-era heartbreaker” and Slate simply declaring it “superb.”
Ellenberg, the former drama head at HBO, has been aggressive in the book space, battling major conglomerates for rights to highly anticipated titles. “You need to get in early and spend a lot of money. It’s what the film industry was like 20 years ago,” Ellenberg told THR earlier this month in a Creative Space interview.
Media Res also has Pachinko, based on the international best-seller, set to debut next year on Apple. The tech giant is also home to Media Res’ The Morning Show and Scott Z. Burns’ climate change anthology Extrapolations. Ellenberg also has Boots Riley’s I’m a Virgo in the works at Amazon and recently returned to HBO with Scenes From a Marriage.
As for Franzen, he’s a National Book Award winner who has penned five novels, including The Corrections, Freedom and Purity. Of those, The Corrections was developed (and passed over) as a premium series for HBO and Purity remains in purgatory at Showtime with Daniel Craig attached.
The deal was negotiated by Rich Green of the Gotham Group and attorney Alex Kohner of Morris Yorn on behalf of Susan Golomb of Writers House.
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