Hodder & Stoughton has pre-empted the début thriller by screenwriter John Brownlow, Seventeen, which has also landed a film deal.
Eve Hall at Hodder & Stoughton pre-empted world all-language rights from Oli Munson at A M Heath in a two-book deal. Foreign rights have now sold at auction in Germany (Rowohlt), the Netherlands (House of Books) and France (Gallimard). A further deal has concluded in Denmark (Jentas) and there is a Czech offer in negotiation. US rights were snapped up by Hanover Square Press.
The book tells the story of Seventeen, the best hitman in the world, so-called because he is the 17th person in history who has achieved this accolade. Every government organisation wants his services, and every other high-level hitman has placed a target on his back. When Seventeen is ordered to find and kill his predecessor, the hit goes wrong and hunter turns to hunted. With Kat—a woman with no fear and a generous helping of attitude—at his side, Seventeen needs to kill or be killed, and to do it fast.
This is the first volume in a series of novels that will not only follow Seventeen and Kat forward, but look back at previous top assassins. Hodder will publish Seventeen in August 2022 as a lead debut.
It has also been announced that Oscar-nominated animation studio Laika has landed the film rights to Seventeen¸ expanding into the world of live-action filmmaking for the first time with this project. The studio secured the rights following a bidding war.
Travis Knight, Laika’s president and c.e.o., said: “Seventeen is a stiff cocktail of wicked wit, exhilarating action and raw emotion. John has such a wonderfully unique voice. He’s crafted a brilliant universe with its own powerful identity. Seventeen is a thriller with soul, a sinuous, adrenaline-fuelled actioner with a sincere heart beating underneath its rippling pectorals.”
Brownlow is a scriptwriter who lives in Canada. He wrote the film "Sylvia" about the relationship between Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, which starred Gwyneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig, as well as the TV series "Fleming" about Ian Fleming’s work as a spy and the genesis of James Bond, and the TV adaptation of Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist.