Universal has won the rights to Jason Reynolds’ best-selling young adult novel LONG WAY DOWN in a bidding war with other studios, the Tracking Board has confirmed. The project will be produced by Michael De Luca’s Michael De Luca Productions and pop singer John Legend’s Get Lifted Film Co.
Reynolds’ book, a finalist for the National Book Award, follows the story of a young man deciding whether to get revenge on the man who murdered his brother. The story is set in an elevator and told in free verse.
Legend is a Grammy and Oscar-winning singer/songwriter who appeared in last year’s La La Land, and has been exec. producer on a number of films including last year’s Southside with You. He shared an Oscar with Common for their song “Glory” for Ava Duvernay’s Selma. De Luca is the Oscar nominated producer of The Social Network, Moneyball and the Fifty Shades movies, the latter with Universal. Some of the upcoming projects De Luca has in development include Jacques Audiard’s The Sisters Brothers, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Joaquin Phoenix, the graphic novel adaptation Cowboy Ninja Viking and dozens of others.
Long Way Down will be overseen by Universal Vice President of Production Sara Scott with Lucy Kitada overseeing for Michael De Luca Productions.
This story was first reported on by Variety.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor