Calla Henkel’s debut novel Other People’s Clothes is to be adapted for the screen by Emmy-nominated writer Alexa Karolinski of “Unorthodox” after an eight-way auction for the film and television rights went to Mark Gordon Pictures.
It was optioned by the UK office of Mark Gordon Pictures with Emily Hayward-Whitlock at The Artists Partnership brokering the film and TV deal on behalf of Eleanor Birne at PEW Literary.
Executive producers will be Beth Pattinson, Mark Gordon for Mark Gordon Pictures, who worked on “Grey’s Anatomy”, and Danny Davids.
Sceptre’s lead debut Other People’s Clothes, published on 8th July 2021, is billed by the publisher as “a raucous and blackly funny summer read”. Set in 2009 Berlin, it follows the twisted friendship between two American art students whose lives spiral out of control after they rent an apartment from an eccentric crime writer. Francine Toon, commissioning editor at Sceptre, pre-empted world rights in July 2020, from Eleanor Birne at PEW. Rights have subsequently been pre-empted in the US by Lee Boudreaux at Doubleday US, in France by Les Arènes and in Italy by Guanda.
Henkel said: “I am extremely excited about partnering with Mark Gordon to create the deranged world of Other People’s Clothes for the screen, and I can’t wait to see these girls come to life in all their dark sparking intensity.”
Pattinson said: “We are completely delighted to be working with Calla and Alexa to bring this compelling and propulsive novel to life. Calla’s evocation of Berlin in 2009 is full of humour and insight combined with a dark, twisted narrative which had us gripped from page one. With Alexa, we have found the perfect writer to adapt the material – not only does she know Berlin intimately, but her writing is full of emotion and tension and is the perfect complement to Calla’s narrative. It’s a privilege to be working with these two brilliant women.”
Henkel is an American writer, playwright, director and artist living in Berlin. She has just been shortlisted for the German art award Preis der Nationalgalerie as well as the Future Generation Art Prize 2021, worth $100,000. She has staged plays at Volksbühne Berlin and the Whitney Museum of Art, as well as at New Theater, the experimental theatre space she co-founded and programmed in Berlin from 2013-2015.