Lara Prescott’s highly anticipated debut thriller, We Were Never Here, has now sold to 28 territories, with a screen adaptation in the works from the creators of "The Night Manager" and "La La Land".
The Ink Factory and Marc Platt Productions are joining forces to adapt the historical novel based on events surrounding the publication Doctor Zhivago, which recently netted Prescott $2m (£1.5m) in a deal with Knopf following a 14-way auction. Hutchinson won the UK rights after a 12-publisher auction.
Within weeks of the initial announcement in June, We Were Never Here had secured 20 international deals and now has sold in 28 territories altogether with the most recently sealed deals in Finland, Arabia, Bulgaria, Estonia, and Russia, negotiated by Folio Literary Management in New York, which also sold the North American rights through agents Jeff Kleinman and Jamie Chambliss.
Lorella Belli of the Lorella Belli Literary sold the UK and Commonwealth rights to Penguin Random House publisher Selina Walker and Hutchinson’s publication plans will be announced shortly, Walker told The Bookseller.
Meanwhile the adaptation project sees a partnership between The Ink Factory, the team behind BBC series “The Night Manager”, and the upcoming “The Little Drummer Girl,” and Marc Platt, the Oscar-nominated producer of “La La Land” and “Bridge of Spies.” The partners are currently assessing whether it will be a movie or series adaptation.
APA’s Lucy Stille represents film and television rights to the book and put the deal together with independent studio The Ink Factory and Marc Platt Productions. The deal was negotiated by Stille alongside Kleinman and Chambliss at Folio Literary Management and by Yogita Puri for The Ink Factory.
Prescott’s novel explores how Boris Pasternak’s novel Doctor Zhivago was written and published through the voices of those involved, including Pasternak’s mistress and muse, Olga Ivinskaya, the women of the CIA typing pool, college graduates and former spies who were all involved in smuggling the book back in to Russia "in a clandestine mission to weaponise literature".
“In its ambition, scope and execution, We Were Never Here is a remarkable novel by any standards, and as a first novel, breathtaking,” Stephen Cornwell, joint c.e.o. at The Ink Factory, told Variety. “The greatest spy stories are also great love stories. Lara’s wonderful book delivers on all that promise and more.”