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Latest Acquisitions & Adaptations

By Georgie Cutler and Eva Lee

Acquisition News

Penguin Picks Up Queer Love Story from Young Adult Writer

Writer Jen St. Jude has partnered with Penguin as they have acquired the rights to her debut novel If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come from Bloomsbury US. The book covers mental health and identity following the journey of Avery Byrne, a queer teenage girl who is in love with her best friend. Following her struggles, she learns that the world will only have days to live as an asteroid is on the way. This emotional yet powerful book will send out an important message to readers and will be published in May 2023 by Bloomsbury Children’s in the US and Penguin Random House in the UK.

#Merky Books Signs its First Rom-Com by Taylor-Dior Rumble

Penguin Random House’s imprint #Merky Books looks to enter the rom-com world with Taylor-Dior Rumble’s debut novel The Situationship. The imprint in partnership with Stormzy has gone from strength to strength since its launch in 2018, publishing underrepresented voices and their uplifting stories. Rumble describes the process as a “dream come true,” working with “a team that really understands [her] voice and vision” (The Bookseller). #Merky Books’ Tallulah Lyons acquired the world rights to Rumble’s novel from United Agents’ Seren Adams.

The Situationship revolves around Tia Martin, a woman dissatisfied with the way her life is going. She feels out of her depth at work and her ex-boyfriend has just returned from a trip to America with a new girlfriend. This is the moment Nate enters her life. Nate is the tempting photographer who could be the answer to everything. Will she be able to mix work with pleasure? We can’t wait to find out in August 2023.

From Book to Screen: What to Watch?

Korean Adaptation of Little Women

TVN, a South Korean cable channel, is to broadcast the Korean adaptation of the novel Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. It will feature similar elements to the book but will have a Korean spin to it. The story will focus on the lives of three sisters living in poverty as they get caught in an incident involving a wealthy family, all while trying to find a way to support themselves. It will star Kim Go-eun, Nam Ji-hyun and Park Ji-hu who will act as sisters. You may recognise some faces as it will feature stars from Squid Game and All of Us Are Dead, both popular series on Netflix. It will release on 3 September 2022 with twelve episodes and will be broadcast internationally on Netflix.

The School for Good and Evil on Netflix

Netflix has acquired the rights to release an upcoming fantasy film based on the novel by Soman Chainani, with Paul Feig set to direct the film alongside David Magee for screenplay. The story follows Sophie and Agatha; both taken and enrolled into the School for Good and Evil, they battle on opposing sides and put their friendship to the test as they find a way out. The main cast will see Sophia Caruso, Sofia Wylie, Laurence Fishburne, Michelle Yeoh, Kerry Washington and Charlize Theron. Netflix will release the film on 21 October 2022.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is Coming to Amazon Prime

In September, Tolkien fans will be able to watch the highly anticipated Lord of the Rings prequel on Amazon Prime. This is the first series to be released from Amazon’s 2017 project to adapt material from J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings as a multi-series television adaptation. The show will feature the likes of Morfydd Clark, Robert Aramayo, Benjamin Walker, Charles Edwards, Ismael Cruz Córdova and Will Fletcher. The prequel is based on Tolkien’s writings on the Second Age. These writings can be found in The Fall of Númenor: And Other Tales from the Second Age of Middle-Earth, a book set to be released by HarperCollins later this year. You can watch The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power on Amazon Prime from 2 September 2022.

In the Works

Keanu Reeves is set to star in and executive produce the adaptation of Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. The non-fiction book, originally published in 2003, focuses on the World’s Columbian Exposition, held in Chicago in 1893. It interweaves the narratives of the visionary architect Daniel H. Burnham and the serial killer Dr. H. H. Holmes, combining the stories of the World’s Colombian Exposition, commonly known as the White City, with the World’s Fair Hotel, known as the Murder Castle. This is a long-awaited adaptation; Leonardo DiCaprio having acquired the film rights to Larson’s book in 2010. It was originally set to be adapted into a feature film with Paramount that Martin Scorsese would direct. However, in 2019 Hulu announced the television series featuring DiCaprio and Scorsese as executive producers. They have since introduced Sam Shaw as the writer and showrunner and Todd Field as the director. The series is set to be released in 2024.



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