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Latest Acquisitions & Adaptations

By Georgie Cutler and Eva Lee


Acquisition News


Bloomsbury acquires Skalietska’s diary account of war in Ukraine


Bloomsbury has won the UK and Commonwealth rights to publish You Don’t Know What War Is: The Diary of a Young Girl From Ukraine after a seven-way auction. The account, written by twelve-year-old Yeva Skalietska, depicts her flight out of Ukraine from Kharkiv to her current place of residence in Dublin accompanied by her grandmother. The book will also feature personal photographs. Skalietska decided to start keeping a diary to help her manage her feelings and “remember how [her] childhood was destroyed by war” (The Bookseller). The rights deal was completed by Marianne Gunn O’Connor, from the Marianne Gunn O’Connor Literary, Film, and TV Agency, and by Lara Hancock and Sally Beets, the Head of Illustrated Publishing and a Commissioning Editor at Bloomsbury respectively.


YA novel Where the Light Goes picked up by Walker Books


Walker Books has sealed a deal with Sara Barnard’s new novel Where the Light Goes after UK, EU and Commonwealth rights were acquired by publisher, Denise Johnstone-Burt and senior editor, Non Pratt. The novel is described as a heart-breaking story with grief and close sister bonding playing a central theme. It follows two sisters, Lizzie and Emmy, one a rockstar and the other following in the same footsteps until one ends her own life causing shock to the community. Barnard mentions her upcoming novel as “The best I’ve ever written” (Twitter) sparking interest to her followers. It is set for publication on May 2023.


From Book To Screen


What to watch?


The Gray Man on Netflix


The upcoming action film based on the novel of the same name by Mark Greaney is set to be released on Netflix. The Gray Man directed by Anthony and Joe Russo is said to be the biggest project ever made on Netflix with hopes to build a franchise based on Greaney’s novels. It will star Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans as the main leads, along the likes of Ana de Armas, Jessica Henwick and Regé-Jean Page. The story follows Court Gentry (Gosling), a former CIA agent who uncovers dangerous agency secrets leading him to being hunted by his former teammate Lloyd Hansen (Evans) and his assassins. It is set to release in selected cinemas on 15 July and Netflix on 22 July.


In the works


SunnyMarch acquires The End We Start From


Film rights have been sold to Benedict Cumberbatch’s company SunnyMarch for The End We Start From, adapted from Megan Hunter’s 2017 novel of the same name. It is set to be directed by Mahalia Belo with the help of Cumberbatch as executive producer. The star-studded cast will have Jodie Comer and Benedict Cumberbatch as the leads with no further information on the rest of the cast. It will follow the story of a woman who gives birth to her first child when London is submerged beneath floodwaters. As they flee and survive in fear, she is challenged by motherhood and her attempts to keep her family safe. Production is set to start this year with no news of when it will be out.


Movie of The Spanish Love Deception in the works


BCDF Pictures have bought the rights to develop The Spanish Love Deception as a film. BCDF Pictures have previously developed Sally Thorn’s The Hating Game into a movie that was released on Amazon Prime earlier this year. They have suggested that Peter Hutchings, the director of The Hating Game, could be attached to the project. The film will adapt the 2021 romantic comedy novel by Elena Armas. The 2022 New York Times bestseller focuses on the love story of Catalina Martín and Aaron Blackford. When Catalina has to bring her fictitious boyfriend to a family wedding, Aaron – her gorgeous but irritating colleague – offers to help her out and play pretend. Elena Armas’ sequel is set to be released later this year. The book is a TikTok favourite and won a GoodReads Choice Award for Best Debut Novel in 2021. We can’t wait for this romcom to come to the big screen.


It Happened One Summer film in development


A film adaptation of the bestselling romantic comedy It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey is in the works. BCDF Pictures and Frolic Media are teaming up to produce the adaptation. It Happened One Summer is the first book in a series following the Bellinger sisters, LA socialites who move to their late father’s fishing village after the eldest sister’s latest scandal. The female protagonist of this instalment is Piper Bellinger, a character inspired by Alexis Rose from Schitt’s Creek. She turns local fisherman Brendan Taggart’s world upside-down as she tries to adapt to small-town life. The novel is another TikTok favourite, with the tag receiving over thirty-five million views. The adaptation is being written by Christina Mengert and Joseph Musynski, who have previously adapted The Hating Game and The Unhoneymooners respectively. It will be produced by Claude Dal Farra, Brian Keady and Lisa Berger. Are book adaptations a new trend in romcom movies? We hope so.

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