By Georgie Cutler, Eva Lee, Niamh Parr and Emily Retford
Indigo Press Acquires vor Schulte’s German Bestseller
Susie Nicklin at The Indigo Press has signed world English language rights, acquired from Diogenes Verlag to Stefanie vor Schulte’s debut novel Boy with a Black Rooster (Junge mit schwarzem Hahn) in its English translation. In its German edition, the novel was awarded the Mara Cassens Prize for best German-language debut in 2021 and has been translated into English by Alexandra Roesch.
With a winding surrealist plot, Boy with a Black Rooster is perfect for fans of fantasy and magical realism. Set in a pseudo-medieval period with an apocalyptic backdrop, folklore and fairy tales heavily inspire the novel. It follows eleven-year-old Martin, a young boy who finds himself recently orphaned following the devastating massacre of his family members at the hands of his own father. With only his talking pet cockerel for company – the very cockerel that his fellow villagers believe is the devil – Martin must set out on a long quest of discovery that involves journeying across the war-ravaged countryside with a painter, saving travellers from werewolves and shouldering the responsibility of deposing a mad and murderous princess. Boy with a Black Rooster is currently set for publication in June 2024.
Granta Books Secures Sarah Clegg Title
Granta Books secured Sarah Clegg’s new title The Dead of Winter in an eleven-way auction. Described by Granta Books as “the dark side of Christmas,” the book explores the shadowy and scary background of the festive period, looking at how folklore and myths have evolved over time. Including monsters, mystery visitors and dark traditions, The Dead of Winter considers the warped and fun side of the horror. Granta Books commented that the stories in the book are bewitching and unsettling, with Sarah’s writing described as enchanting and illuminating (The Bookseller). Granta Books’ publishing director Laura Barber acquired the rights at auction, from Hayley Steed of Janklow & Nesbit. The Dead of Winter is set for publication in October 2024.
From Book to Screen
What to Watch?
Percy Jackson and the Olympians comes to Disney+
Percy Jackson returns to screens in this new television adaptation based on the bestselling book series by Rick Riordan. It follows the titular character of Percy Jackson, a boy who learns that he is the son of Poseidon and embarks on a journey to discover his power as a demigod. The first series of the Disney+ show follows the events of the first book Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. The first two books in the series have previously been adapted for film in 2010 and 2013 starring Logan Lerman. However, fans of the books were left wanting more.
Rick Riordan has been more involved in the production of this project and has said that this new adaptation is “what the fans have been waiting for” (Entertainment Weekly). This adaptation casts the characters much closer to the age they were in the book series. Walker Scobell will take on the role of Percy Jackson, accompanied by the likes of Leah Sava Jeffries, Aryan Simhadri, Jason Mantzoukas and Toby Stephens. You can stream Percy Jackson and the Olympians on Disney+ from 20 December 2023. The television series will premiere with two episodes and then release new episodes weekly.
Animation Orion and the Dark on Netflix
A new animated film is set to be released soon on Netflix. Orion and the Dark, adapted from the YA novel by Emma Yarlett, follows anxiety-stricken elementary schooler Orion as he tries to grapple with his fear of the dark. The literal embodiment of the dark visits him and takes him on a journey to show there is nothing to be afraid of at night. His adventure shows him how to embrace life and accept that he can conquer his fears. The film features a small voice cast including Jacob Tremblay, Paul Walter Hauser and Werner Herzog. It is said to be a “Monsters Inc. style movie” (IMDB) – will you be tuning in? Orion and the Dark is to premiere on 02 February 2024 on Netflix.
In The Works
Tom Blyth set to lead A Farewell to Arms
Tom Blyth has been chosen to lead the film adaptation of A Farewell to Arms directed by Michael Winterbottom. The film is based on the classic war novel of the same name by Ernest Hemingway. The novel was inspired by Hemingway’s experience as a soldier in the First World War. It focuses on the love story of Frederic Henry, an American lieutenant in the Italian Army, and his nurse Catherine Barkley, set against one of the deadliest conflicts in human history. Winterbottom hopes to align with Hemingway’s approach to writing with an “immediate, raw and natural” adaptation of the bestselling novel (Variety). The release date has not been announced but we are excited to see this project start production.