Latest Acquisitions & Adaptations
By Alice Warburton, Georgie Cutler and Eva Lee
Publisher Macmillan Lands Rashford and Anka Sequel
Macmillan Children’s Books have claimed the rights for the new book You Can Do It: How to Find Your Team and Make a Difference by Marcus Rashford and Carl Anka. Rights were acquired by Sama Smith and Cate Augustin, from Rashford’s representative Kelly Hogarth at Thelma Gwen, and Anka’s representative Becky Thomas at Lewinsohn Literary. There will be a large-scale campaign coinciding with the publication of the book, including gifting copies to those with the least access to literature. It will be published in July 2022.
Simu Liu’s Memoir Claimed by Publishers William Collins
Being published in May 2022, We Were Dreamers will focus on “a story about our little family of three that crossed the ocean from China to North America in the relentless pursuit of a better life.” UK and Commonwealth rights were acquired by commissioning editor Bengono Bessala from Meg Wheeler and Jackie Kaiser at Westwood Creative Artists, who collaborated with Creative Artists Agency. HarperCollins US and HarperCollins Canada will publish the memoir simultaneously. Liu is best known for his role in the Marvel blockbuster Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings in which he played the title role.
Debut Author McLeod’s Novel Snatched up by Scholastic
The coming-of-age novel Rapunzella, Or Don’t Touch My Hair, by poet Ella McLeod, has been acquired as part of a three-book deal by Scholastic UK. Rights were bought from Stephen Thwaites and Isobel Gahan at Curtis Brown, by commissioning editor Yasmin Morrissey, to include two novels and a picture book. McLeod said that she “wrote Rapunzella for all the girls like me…I want kids who’ve felt invisible to peer into the pages of my book and see themselves looking back.” The book will be published in July 2022.
From Book to Screen
What to Watch
This Is Going to Hurt on BBC One
The award-winning book by Adam Kay, This Is Going to Hurt, made its screen debut on 8 February 2022. This Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor was published in 2017 by Picador. It documented Kay’s NHS career, from the mid to late noughties, in comedic yet heartbreaking diary entries. Adapted by Kay, the comedy series dramatises these diary entries, with the protagonist (Adam) attempting to balance the demanding occupation of a junior doctor on the labour ward with his personal life. Ben Wishaw leads as Adam, alongside the likes of Dame Harriet Walter and Alex Jennings. You can find This Is Going to Hurt on BBC One at 9pm and on BBC iPlayer.
Japanese Novel Bullet Train Coming Soon
Bullet Train, the action-packed thriller film, is set to be released soon after delays. The film, based on the novel Maria Beetle by Kotaro Isaka which is also known as Bullet Train, will feature a large cast and will be directed by David Leitch who is best known for his films such as Fast & Furious. The main cast will star Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock, Joey King, Andrew Koji, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and more. The plot will follow five dangerous assassins on the Japanese bullet train whose missions are connected as they unravel the mysteries behind them. The film is set to be released on 15 July 2022.
In the Works
The Color Purple Casts Taraji P. Henson
Taraji P. Henson has been cast as Shug Avery, a jazz and blues singer, in Blitz Bazawule’s upcoming adaptation of The Color Purple for Warner Bros. The film will be based upon Marsha Norman’s Tony-winning musical of the same name, which was originally based on the novel by Alice Walker. Written in 1982, The Color Purple is an epistolary novel depicting the life of an African American woman living in Georgia in the early 20th century. It won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, which made Walker the first Black woman to be awarded this honour. Taraji P. Henson will star with H.E.R. and Corey Hawkins in this adaptation. The film is set to be released in cinemas on 22 December 2023.
The Summer I Turned Pretty on Amazon
Jenny Han’s coming of age trilogy The Summer I Turned Pretty is to get a television adaptation consisting of eight episodes released on Amazon. The young adult romance was featured on the New York bestseller list released back in 2009 with it being one of Han’s best-known works. The main cast will star Lola Tung, Jackie Chung, Rachel Blanchard, Christopher Briney and Gavin Gasalegno. The drama follows Isabel – also known as Belly (Tung) – and her mother Laurel (Chung) on a visit to their family friend (Blancard) over the summer. During this visit, they meet Conrad (Briney) and Jeremiah (Casalegno) and a love triangle is formed along with moments of growth, betrayal and independence. With the series currently in pre-production, there is no release date so far, with speculations of it airing sometime this year.