〉The historical revisionist comedy is being pitched in the vein of The Princess Bride and Enchanted.
The Martian director Ridley Scott is attached to produce the feature adaptation of MY LADY JANE through his Scott Free Productions banner, The Tracking Board has learned exclusively. Co-authored by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows, the book is a one-of-a-kind fantasy that bends historical fact to hilarious effect. Allison Gillogly will oversee for Scott Free, which is currently packaging the material before taking it out to buyers.
Pitched in the vein of The Princess Bride and Enchanted, the YA story centers around Lady Jane Grey, who is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne – the least of the sixteen year old’s problems, really, given that she’s about to become Queen of England. The novel is a historical retelling of Lady Jane Grey’s brief stint as Queen of England after Henry VIII’s son Edward VI nominated her as successor over his half-sisters Mary and Elizabeth. The real story didn’t end well for Jane, but the book poses the question: “what if there was more to the story… and what if the royals had the ability to shape-shift into animals?”
The book, which is set for publication by HarperTeen in June, 2016, has a unique authorship in that three friends, with thirteen published novels between them, decided to write the project together. Hand is a New York Times best-selling author of the Unearthly trilogy; Ashton is the author of VOYA Perfect 10 novels Everneath and Everbound; Meadows wrote the Incarnate series and The Orphan Queen. As the book is told from the perspective of three revolving characters, Edward, Jane, and Gifford, each author was responsible for writing one character’s story.
Scott Free maintains a diverse development slate, with projects that fall across a broad spectrum of genres. Last year alone the company produced the period crime thriller Child 44, the NFL drama Concussion, and the sci-fi action comedy The Martian. Their current projects include the remake of Murder on the Orient Express, the latest installment of Scott’s Alien franchise, Alien: Covenant, and the sequel to Scott’s Blade Runner with Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling. The shingle is also producing three projects with screenwriter Brad Ingelsby: A Better Place, The Burning Woman, and Claire.
My Lady Jane, which offers both a female-driven narrative and a unique comedic take on historical events, fits snugly in Scott Free’s brand, especially given the recent success the company has had in the comedy arena. The Martian earned star Matt Damon a Golden Globe before taking home the Globe for Best Motion Picture – Comedy, and scored an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. All of that was icing on the cake for what was one of the year’s biggest box office success stories, taking in over $600 million internationally.
The pick up is just the latest in a film rights market that continues to heat up, and one that is still buzzing following the blockbuster sale of David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon. As content outlets continue to multiply, studios and production houses alike are eager to feed those outlets with unique content from fresh and interesting voices – and in the case of My Lady Jane, three voices, to be specific.
The book is repped by Michael Bourret of Dystel & Goderich Literary, Katherine Fausset at Curtis Brown Ltd, and Lauren MacLeod of The Strothman Agency, while Holly Frederick at Curtis Brown handled the film rights.
Josh Lyons| Managing Editor