Jessica Buchanan’s Harrowing Tale, As Told In “Impossible Odds,” Stirs Up Film Rights Market (EXCLUSIVE)


Impossible Odds

〉The New York Times Bestseller is a story of courage and triumph.

Described as “spellbinding” by the NY Journal of Books, recounts the horrifying kidnapping of and her colleague by a band of Somali pirates, as well as their rescue by Navy SEAL Team Six. Originally published in 2013, and written by Buchanan along with her husband  and , the book is heating up the film rights market.

In 2009, Buchanan and Landemalm moved to Somalia in the hopes to start a family and continue their in education and humanitarian aid. However, that is not how things turned out once Somali pirates kidnapped Buchanan and her colleague in October 2011. They were tortured, starved, and moved around until the Navy SEAL Team Six rescued them on January 25, 2012. The nonfiction tale was published by Atria Books.

Held for 93 days, Buchanan’s health gradually deteriorated as she was held. As the days went on, with Buchanan fearing for her life more and more, her husband worked tirelessly at hostage negotiations to get both his wife and her colleague to safety. It’s a dramatic, riveting telling of the experience, as parties from all sides worked relentlessly to find the light at the end of a dark, dark tunnel.

The lure of a true story is always strong — especially one that has a happy ending. Buchanan’s story is both terrifying and ripe for adaptation, not unlike Argo (2012) or Captain Phillips (2013). In Buchanan we have an inspiring and rigid hero, who never once gave into the temptation of despair, instead fighting to survive. It is a story that leaves readers and spectators both on the edge of their seat and also inspired.

Producers Elizabeth Fowler and Claudia Bluemhuber previously optioned the story to develop as a feature with Flacco set to write the screenplay, but the project ultimately fell through. Flacco is now attached to executive produce, along with .

The book is repped by Martin of Martin Literary with and at  handling the film and rights.


 | Associate Editor

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