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Latest Acquisitions & Adaptations

By Georgie Cutler, Eva Lee, Molly Pearce and Niamh Parr


Acquisition News


Akilah’s Debut Short Story Collection Pre-Empted by Magpie


Oneworld’s new book-club imprint Magpie has triumphed in a competitive pre-empt for the debut short story collection by Black-British author Shani Akilah. The collection, FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS, features moving stories which focus on the intertwining lives of Black-British Londoners as they navigate love, friendship and community, as well as the hardships of individual struggles. Partly set during the pandemic, Akilah’s stories also explore how such a catastrophic event impacts the routines and relationships of these Londoners. UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, were acquired by Publisher Juliet Mabey at Oneworld from Associate Agent Sian Ellis-Martin at the Blake Friedmann Literary Agency. FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS is set to be a super-lead title for Magpie, and publication is expected in June 2024.


Legal Thriller from Shepherd Signed by Pushkin Vertigo


Pushkin Vertigo has signed a thrilling crime fiction novel from Human Rights barrister L. J. Shepherd. The Trial of Lila Dalton is an intricately-plotted legal drama with a psychological twist. Lila Dalton is the barrister for a man accused of mass murder, with the trial taking place on a remote island where only the most serious cases are delegated to. There is, however, a problem – she can’t remember anything at all about the case or how she came to the island. On top of that, she’s under surveillance from someone who is leaving threatening notes in her hotel room. Pushkin Vertigo acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, in a two-book deal from Jenny Savill at Andrew Nurnberg Associates. The Trial of Lila Dalton will be a super-lead title for Pushkin Vertigo, and will be published in February 2024.


From Book to Screen

What to Watch?


A Haunting in Venice heads to screens this September


The third Kenneth Branagh adaptation of Agatha Christie’s work comes in the form of A Haunting in Venice. It is based on Hallowe’en Party, a detective novel set in the world of Hercule Poirot that was originally published in 1969. This work follows a retired Poirot to a Palazzo in Venice after the Second World War. At a Halloween séance, he must return to his detective work to investigate the murder of one of the guests. After Murder on the Orient Express (2017) and Death on the Nile (2022), a star-studded cast was expected and this movie does not disappoint. It features the likes of Kelly Reilly, Jamie Dornan, Michelle Yeoh, Tina Fey, Camille Cottin and Jude Hill, with Kenneth Branagh returning as Hercule Poirot. You can watch A Haunting in Venice in cinemas from 15 September 2023. The perfect film to get you into the spooky season!


In the Works


Netflix Picks Up The Electric State


The Russo brothers (Stranger Things) have their next big project with Netflix underway: an adaptation of The Electric State, written by Simon Stålenhag. Set in an alternate world brimming with drones, scrap and high-tech society, the story follows a young teenage girl on a journey across the American West with a robot sent by her brother; her mission is to find him. As for the cast, big names including Millie Bobby Brown, Chris Pratt, Stanley Tucci, Ke Huy Quan and Brian Cox will star in this adaptation. The upcoming sci-fi film wrapped up filming earlier this year, hinting at a potential air date in 2024. Keep an eye out for more information.


Leave The World Behind adaptation coming to Netflix


Rumaan Alam’s 2020 thriller novel Leave The World Behind has been adapted into a film of the same name, and is set to premiere on Netflix on 8 December 2023. Whilst on a holiday in Long Island, a family are mysteriously approached by two strangers, who subsequently warn them that a terrifying blackout will soon be upon them. The movie follows the lives of both groups as they attempt to come to terms with and also survive their horrifying future. Leave The World Behind is directed and produced by Sam Esmail (Mr Robot, Homecoming), and will also be co-produced by the film’s star Julia Roberts. Alongside Roberts, Ethan Hawke, Mahershala Ali, Kevin Bacon, as well as several other talented faces will make an appearance in the film. Filming for this adaptation began in April of 2022, and we are so excited to watch it when it arrives on Netflix at the end of this year.

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