Tracy Chevalier's Remarkable Creatures has been optioned by Resonate Entertainment.
The newly-formed production company, run by producers Susan Cartsonis, Suzanne Farwell and Brent Emery, have optioned the historical novel about two real-life female fossil hunters in the 19th Century.
The Girl with a Pearl Earring author said she was "thrilled" that fossils will "get their moment in the movies".
The deal was negotiated on behalf of Chevalier by Luke Speed at Curtis Brown and by Shannon Hensley at Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson on behalf of the filmmakers.
Remarkable Creatures (Borough Press) was published in 2009 and explores “invisible women” in science whose accomplishments “were appropriated by men”. It focuses on fossil hunters Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot who made discoveries in the English coastal town of Lyme-Regis which were some of the most significant geological finds of all time.
Cartsonis said: “We created this new company to develop and produce complex and interesting female characters and Remarkable Creatures embodies that idea. Tracy is a brilliant storyteller and tremendous talent. We couldn’t be more thrilled to bring her into our Resonate family.”
Farwell said the book’s themes of gender, class, female friendship and scientific discovery “could not be more timely”.
She said: “Female scientists have been left out of the history books and Tracy Chevalier has brought these two remarkable women back to life in her wonderful book. We’re excited to bring this fascinating story to the screen.”
Chevalier said she was “thrilled” by the news. She said: “I’ve always said I wrote the book to make fossils sexy. Now they will get their moment in the movies. And given the recent box-office success of Hidden Figures, we know there’s a hunger for smart movies about smart women. I can’t wait.”
Chevalier’s eight historical novel, the Gold Rush-inspired At the Edge of the Orchard , was published last year. Her debut, Virgin Blue was published in 1997 after she finished a Creative Writing MA at the University of East Anglia and was sold by the then newly promoted literary agent, Jonny Geller. Girl with a Pearl Earring was published in 1999 and was released in a film in 2003. All these titles are published by Borough Press.