• The Publishing Post

Latest Acquisitions & Adaptations

By Alice Warburton, Georgie Cutler and Eva Lee


Acquisition News


Harvill Secker Snag New Murakami


Publishers Harvill Secker have bought the rights to Novelist as a Vocation, a new novel by author Haruki Murakami, which will reveal “what he thinks about being a novelist; his thoughts on the role of the novel in our society; his own origins as a writer” and more. Murakami is well known for his bestselling novels Norwegian Wood, Kafka on the Shore, and countless others. Rights were acquired for the UK and Commonwealth, not including Canada, from Karolina Sutton at Curtis Brown on behalf of Amanda Urban at ICM Partners, by Liz Foley, Publishing Director. It will be released later this year in November.


Nabugodi’s “Extraordinary” Work Goes to Hamish Hamilton


After a thrilling nine-way auction, Hamish Hamilton have snagged The Trembling Hand: Reflections of a Black Woman in the Romantic Archive by Mathelina Nabugodi. This important read, written by the winner of the Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award, focuses on bringing “a decolonising, anti-racist perspective to the Romantic period and creates a revisionist profile of the period’s icons, such as Lord Byron and William Wordsworth.” UK and Commonwealth rights were acquired by Hannah Chukwu, from Tristan Kendrick at RCW (Rogers, Coleridge and White). US rights went to Freeman, at Knopf. Both the US and UK editions will be published simultaneously in spring 2024.


Bloomsbury Secure Forensic Look into 007’s World


Kathryn Harkip’s new novel, License to Kill: The Science of 007, has been bought by Bloomsbury Sigma. The book will focus on “the science behind the escapades of James Bond and his adversaries… [and] explore some of the many tropes that we have come to love and expect from a Bond adventure.” Rights were acquired by Jim Martin from Harkip herself. It is set to be published on 1 September this year, to coincide with the sixtieth anniversary of the first James Bond Cinema Release, Dr N, in 1962.


From Book to Screen


What to Watch?


The Bad Guys Coming to Cinemas


Based on the Scholastic series by Aaron Blabey, DreamWorks is bringing The Bad Guys to cinemas this April. The series has sold over 8.2 million copies worldwide. After a heist goes wrong, The Bad Guys – made up of Mr Wolf, Mr Snake, Mr Shark, Mr Piranha and Ms Tarantula – make a deal to “go good” to avoid prison. It stars a talented cast, with Sam Rockwell, Awkwafina, Anthony Ramos, Marc Maron and Craig Robinson making up the five protagonists. The Bad Guys is directed by Pierre Perifel, who was an animator for DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda. You can watch The Bad Guys on 1 April 2022 at a cinema near you.


In The Works


Wiip is Developing Separation Anxiety for TV


After purchasing the rights for Laura Zigman’s humorous novel Separation Anxiety, Gillian Robespierre and Mathilde Dratwa have now signed up to executive produce and write the adaptation for the TV series. Released in March 2020, Separation Anxiety follows Judy – a woman whose life is not going to plan – who tries to retake control through small steps to her own happiness. Her first step is to carry her dog in an old sling. The series is set to star Julianne Nicholson, who will also be the Executive Producer alongside Zigman, Wiip’s Mark Roybal and Paul Lee. There is no release date set at the moment for the series, but we shall keep our eyes peeled.


The Wonder on Netflix


An adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s The Wonder is in the works, inspired by the Victorian cases of the “fasting girls.” The psychological thriller is set in the 19th century and will follow a story about a young girl who survives without any food for months, an English nurse being brought to observe her wellbeing and the mystery behind this. Florence Pugh is set for the leading role as the English nurse alongside Niamh Algar, Toby Jones, Elaine Cassidy, Kila Lord Cassidy, Dermot Crowley, Brain F. O’Byrne and Ciaran Hinds. With no confirmed release date, The Wonder is expected to release sometime in 2022.


Crying in H Mart: A Memoir Film Adaption in the Works


MGM Orion Pictures has acquired rights to turn Michelle Zauner’s Crying in H Mart into a feature film adaption. Zauner is known for her indie pop music as a singer under Japanese Breakfast, and the band will produce the soundtrack for the film. The story will follow the accounts of Zauner’s life growing up as a Korean American, the indie music scene, memories with her mother and bonding over food. Stacey Sher and Jason Kim are set to produce the adaptation with Zauner writing the script. As of yet, there is no information for casting or release date.



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