As the 2016 Launch Pad Manuscript Competition heads into the home stretch, two of its partners – Inkshares and Brooklyn Weaver – have set up the book partial A GOD IN THE SHED from newcomer Canadian author J.F. Dubeau with David Ellison’s Skydance Productions, who acquired the TV rights in a preemptive buy with plans for a series. Akiva Goldsman and his Weed Road Pictures SVP Greg Lessans will produce along with Weaver and Inkshares. The deal marks the second TV rights deal for start-up publisher Inkshares this year.
Dubeau’s debut, which became ineligible for the LPMC when the preemptive offer was first made, tells the story of Venus McKenzy and the residents of the tiny village of Saint-Ferdinand. A long time ago, the villagers stumbled onto an ancient power which they first angered and then tried to imprison and use for their own purposes. Today, the secrets of these terrible acts are coming back to reap their toll on the descendants of the original offenders. The book will be the first in what is expected to be a trilogy.
Alexandra Neal brought in the project and is overseeing with Lessans for Weed Road. Carolyn Harris is overseeing for Skydance.
The book partial had been slipped to just a few select producers prior to Weed Road coming on board and leading the charge into buyers. For a TV rights deal to come off of a manuscript partial is highly unusual – but it’s made more notable by the fact that the author is a relative unknown. Weaver and UTA’s Charles Ferraro repped the package.
Dubeau, with his distinct voice and style, is already being compared to Stephen King by way of Nic Pizzolatto. The material, which puts a King-like spin on a small town in the vein of Stanger Things, is right in Goldsman’s wheelhouse, who is producing The Dark Tower for Sony and is adapting King’s Doctor Sleep for Warner Bros. Skydance’s television credits include the series Grace and Frankie and the upcoming sci-fi series Altered Carbon – both for Netflix – as well as the upcoming Jack Ryan series on Amazon.
A God in the Shed is the latest Inkshares property to set the town abuzz, following the lead of Mike Mongo’s The Astronaut Instruction Manual – which was recently picked up for a planned series from Legendary and Matt Tolmach.
Inkshares, which has partnered with the 2016 Launch Pad Manuscript Competition, will select a minimum of three manuscripts to publish and release with both digital and physical copies. The Top 75 semi-finalists of the LPMC were announced on Tuesday.
Josh Lyons | Managing Editor