Paramount / Rick Riorday Presents
Paramount Pictures hasn’t wasted any time in nabbing the rights to Roshani Chokshi’s young adult novel ARU SHAH AND THE END OF TIME in a competitive auction, winning over Netflix. The book will debut at #2 on the New York Times Bestseller’s list for young readers.
Chokshi’s book is the first in the planned “Pandava” series, so there’s definite franchise potential for the story that sounds like a cross between the Wizard of Oz and Night at the Museum.
Aru Shah is a 12-year-old girl of Indian descent who lives in part of the Museum of Ancient Indian Arts and Culture and whom lies to her classmates about owning a cursed lamp that could end the world if lit. Challenged to prove it, Aru lights the lamp, inadvertently releasing a spirit named the Sleeper, Lord of Destruction, who indeed will end the world if Aru doesn’t stop it.
Karen Rosenfeldt is producing the film through her company Sunswept Entertainment. Rosenfeldt previously produced the Twilight Saga and the Percy Jackson movies, the author of the latter, Rick Riordan, having released Chakshi’s book through his new Rick Riordan Presents imprint at Hyperion. Hasbro’s Allspark Pictures is also circling the project to possibly get involved.
The story mixes the world of Hindu mythology with a young modern-day heroine, exploring the ideas of karma and reincarnation through modern pop culture references. The role should be a good one for a young newcomer of Indian descent similar to Ang Lee’s Life of Pi.
Hotchkiss and Associates made the deal with Deadline first reporting on the project.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor