Film rights have been sold for Birdy, a debut YA novel published by Hot Key Books in 2015, portraying a claustrophobic and menacing friendship between two young women.
Rights to the book authored by Jess Valance were sold to Loop, with funding from Creative England. The deal was negotiated by Rebecca Watson of Valerie Hoskins Associates on behalf of Jo Williamson, Antony Harwood Ltd.
Loop director Catherine Bray said she was "thrilled" to be adapting the book and already had a picture in her mind for how she would portray the "intense dynamic" between the two main characters on screen.
"I'm thrilled to be adapting Birdy into a feature-length script," she said. "When I first read the book, I was totally gripped by the intense dynamic between the two central characters – I think everyone has some experience of that kind of claustrophobic teenage friendship and how addictive it can be, despite its toxicity. It immediately made me begin to picture how it might all unfold onscreen and I hope my script does justice to the wonderful world Jess has built."
Jane Harris, Hot Key Books executive director, said: "We are all at Hot Key Books thrilled that Birdy has been acquired for film, Jess is a very talented writer and we are proud to be working with her. We will be publishing new books from her in 2018."
Freelance writer Valance also wrote The Yellow Room published by Hot Key Books in 2016 which subsequently was nominated for the 2017 CILIP Carnegie Medal.