Universal options B B Alston’s Bologna hit

Universal options B B Alston’s Bologna hit

Universal Pictures has optioned the rights to BB Alston’s Amari and the Night Brothers, which was sold to Egmont in the UK after a seven-publisher auction during the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

The film, based on the middle-grade fantasy, will be produced by Todd Libermann and David Hoberman of Mandeville Films, alongside actor Don Cheadle and Marsai Martin and Josh Martin of Genius Productions, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Alston is represented by Gemma Cooper of the Bent Agency, who found the author via #DVPit, a Twitter event where writers from underrepresented backgrounds pitch book agents.

"When I read Amari and the Night Brothers my immediate thought was how cinematic the story was, so I’m glad that so many studios and producers felt the same," said Cooper. "It’s been a whirlwind situation for a debut author and we are thrilled to have found a home for the book at Universal Pictures.”

Lindsey Heaven and Ali Dougal of Egmont acquired the novel for Egmont in the UK and Hardie Grant Egmont in Australia in a six-figure deal. Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, won a six-way auction for U.S. rights and in total Cooper has struck 19 international publishing deals.

Publication is set for 2021.