It’s true that I am no stranger to the embargo, but this time it’s been especially hard to stay schtum. I’ve had to keep telling myself that it just makes it all the more exciting, to be able finally to reveal that we’re well on the way to having our first movie of a JFB original publication!
Yes: Peter Liney’s thrilling first novel, The Detainee, described by the FT as: ‘An impressively dark, dystopian piece with much to say about capitalism’s tendency to treat human beings as commodities, disposable when no longer useful’ – has been optioned by Hollywood.
It’s been bought not just by any old production company, however; oh no: it’s gone to the man described as ‘Hollywood’s most bankable producer’ by Business Insider, perhaps more familiarly known to film fans as Basil Iwanyk, whose extensive credits include John Wick, The Town and the Clash of the Titans franchise.
Pretty much everything to do with movies ends up being hurry up and wait, and however much common sense tells you they wouldn’t go to all this trouble and then not finalise, until that last signature’s on the dotted line, you’re tied up in knots of anxiety – and I’m only the publisher, so imagine how much worse for the poor author, who’s been waiting patiently for an inordinately long time to tell everyone Big Guy Clancy’s coming to the silver screen. But all that patience has paid off, for today Thunder Road and Film House Germany and its very prestigious development team have announced the option for The Detainee, which they describe as ‘a brilliant dystopian adventure . . . a Hunger Games for adults’. Even better, Grant Myers (The Maze Runner) is already busy adapting the novel, so let’s hope we don’t have to wait too long to see Clancy, Lena, Jimmy and Delilah and the kids in glorious Technicolor.
I’ll leave Peter to tell you about the deal over the next few weeks, but for now, I’ll leave you with the equally exciting news that I’m about to start editing the final book of Peter’s trilogy, In Constant Fear – and it’s just as exciting as the first two. So watch this space . . .