Film deal for hyped Frankfurt children’s title

Film deal for hyped Frankfurt children’s title

Twentieth Century Fox has signed the film rights to Jessica Townsend’s Nevermoor, a children’s manuscript that was subject to an eight-publisher auction at the Frankfurt Book Fair last month. 

The story is a magical adventure about Morrigan Crow, a girl born under a terrible curse who has to complete “near-impossible” trials to earn her place in the city of Nevermoor.

Twentieth Century Fox signed the deal with Paradigm, which was acting on behalf of Townsend’s literary agent Bent Agency.

Last month Hachette Children’s Group, along with Hachette US and Hachette Australia, has won an eight-publisher Frankfurt auction for the manuscript, which is the debut novel by copywriter and editor Townsend.

Helen Thomas, editorial director at HCG imprint Orion Children’s Books, bought the novel in a three-book, six-figure deal, with Alvina Ling at Hachette US and Fiona Hazard at Hachette Australia. The deal was for world English rights, acquired from Gemma Cooper at the Bent Agency, and publication is slated for November next year.

At the time Thomas said: “Jess has artfully created a daring, brilliant, utterly compelling hero, and a fantastical new world that will entirely absorb readers, leaving them begging for their own invitation to Nevermoor, just as children have been waiting for their letter from Hogwarts, or to discover their His Dark Materials daemon. This is a series that will set the imaginations of children soaring for years to come.”

Cooper has also struck pre-empt deals in the Netherlands, Spain, France, Hungary, Israel and Finland.