EXCLUSIVE: Following its sale to the Simon & Schuster imprint Scout Press, the James Frey novel Katerina has been pre-emptively acquired in a film rights deal by Brad Weston’s Makeready. Frey will write the script and be executive producer. Guymon Casady is producing through Entertainment 360, the production arm of Management 360.
The deal comes as Makeready is about to start production on an adaptation of Frey’s A Million Little Pieces, which director Sam Taylor-Johnson is about to shoot with Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Carla Juri, Charlie Hunnam and Giovanni Ribisi. Makeready’s Pam Abdy is producing with The Picture Company’s Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman.
Scheduled to be published this fall, Katerina is a sweeping love story that alternates between 1992 Paris and 2017 Los Angeles. The protagonist is Jay, who is 21 when he moves to Paris to live the artist’s life, and falls in love for the first time. Cut to 25 years later: he is a middle-age family man living in California when he receives an anonymous message that draws him back to the life, and possibly the love, he abandoned years prior. WME represented the book and brokered the sale.
Frey said he was “honored to be working with Scout and Makeready, and humbled by their reactions to my book.”
Said Makeready’s Weston: “James wrote a wholly original and beautifully immersive novel that made me think, remember and smile on every page. Pam and I couldn’t be happier that James and Guymon trusted us to make this picture with them and we look forward to bringing it to life on the big screen.”
The publisher was also effusive, with senior veep and publisher Jennifer Bergstrom calling the book “a remarkable novel [that] affirms James Frey’s abundant talent as a writer.”
Makeready will fully finance. The company has worldwide theatrical distribution deals with Universal Pictures and Entertainment One for their films.
The book was acquired by Scout Press VP and executive editor Alison Callahan for North American, non-exclusive Europe, and audio rights. Frey is repped by WME, Management 360 and David Krintzman at Morris Yorn.