Netflix appoints Maria B Campbell as exclusive global literary scouts

Netflix appoints Maria B Campbell as exclusive global literary scouts

Netflix has appointed Maria B Campbell Associates UK Ltd in London and Maria B Campbell Associates Inc in New York to be its exclusive global literary scouts. 

The exclusive partnership, effective as of today (3rd March) reported Deadline, will see publishing executive Maria B Campbell and her colleagues identify adult and children’s books for adaption to film and television, as well as for translation rights in foreign markets for 23 major book publishers around the globe. The literary scouting company previously scouted for Warner Bros, New Line and Warner Bros Television.  

Katie McCalmont in London and Annabelle Saks in New York will be spearheading the scouting for Netflix, working closely with Campbell, who founded the New York company in 1994 and the London branch in 2013. Campbell’s first film client was Steven Spielberg’s production company Amblin, for whom she scouted Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park (originally published by Alfred A. Knopf).

Netflix has bought film and TV rights for a number of titles in the last year, acquiring film rights to Sarah Pinborough’s psychological YA thriller, 13 Minutes (Gollancz) in August, bringing the creators of "Gossip Girl" on board to write, and commissioning a TV adaptation of Beth Reekles’ YA novel The Kissing Booth (Penguin Random House) in December. A new TV series of Watership Down, based on the classic Richard Adams novel, is also on the way, to be co-produced by The BBC and Netflix.

Campbell said: "Working with Netflix in the entertainment field of television and film is a dream come true. Netflix is a company that does on a grand scale what my company does in miniature. Our motto is ‘scouting without borders,’ which perfectly aligns with Netflix’s transformational model to bring stories in every form to people all over the world."

The news follows talk from among the trade that the relationship between the book, TV and film industries has never been stronger, with other production companies also recruiting dedicated literary scouts. 

Agent Diana Tyler, joint head of MBA Literary and Script Agents, called it "an exciting time" with the number of books being optioned seeing an increase, and film producers and publishers "getting together more".

"There is a great deal being inspired by books, both in fiction and non-fiction. I would agree that has certainly increased and I think there is much more interest in book-to-film adaptations than ever before really," she said. "I think some of the big thrillers, and crime, are certainly getting more and more [deals] in film and indeed television plays a very big part in that now too. I think if you have a book that has sold incredibly well, you're going to get people from America asking about that book straight away."