In a heated multi-studio bidding frenzy, Lionsgate has roared it’s way to the top, coming in with a seven-figure bid to acquire the rights to the red hot manuscript THE PUNCH ESCROW from newcomer Tal M. Klein.
The manuscript, which will hit bookshelves from publisher Inkshares this July, is being pitched as Looper meets Ready Player One, and focuses on everyman Joel Byram in the year 2147 after a sabotaged teleportation event creates a duplicate version of himself, and the creators of the technology now want both of them dead. With a mix of big corporation corruption, religious fanatics, and an exciting sense of humor layered into the adventure of it all, this is a story ready for the screen.
And clearly agreeing to a similar idea are none other than Lionsgate execs Erik Feig and James Myers, the team who made the aggressive play to bring the book in, and who have previously been behind other coveted adaptations such as Twilight and The Hunger Games, both of which became box office powerhouses following their bidding frenzies on the rights front – something I’m sure they’re hoping to replicate here.
Klein, a former DJ turned Tech entrepreneur turned first time author, is the latest success story to come from the young publisher Inkshares, following a flurry of sales that included J.F. Dubeau’s A God in the Shed for Akiva Goldsman and Skydance, Mike Mongo’s The Astronauts Instruction Manual at Legendary for producer Matt Tolmach, and the Launch Pad Competition pick up of Robert Batten’s Human Resources for producer Ridley Scott. The reader-curated publisher which boasts more than 100,000 readers can also count Rogue One: A Star Wars Story writer Gary Whitta and Mr. Holland’s Opus writer Patrick Sheane Duncan amongst its recently published authors.
Up next, Inkshares will return to become the official publishing partner of the recently launched 2017 Launch Pad Manuscript Competition, a competition which last year led to seven manuscripts landing publishing deals, and more than a dozen being picked up by studios and networks to be adapted for the screen. This year producer Michael De Luca and his Michel De Luca Productions will step in to join Brooklyn Weaver (Energy Entertainment), Rock Shaink (Romark Entertainment), Adrian Garcia (Paradigm) and Adam Gomolin (Inkshares) as exclusive partners.