Upcoming thriller The Whisper Man has been optioned for film as part of a major Hollywood deal.
The novel from an anonymous author, who writes under a pseudonym ‘Alex North’, has been snapped up by the production company AGBO, founded by Emmy award-winning directors Anthony and Joe Russo, of various Marvel superhero films and “Arrested Development”.
The deal for film rights was negotiated by Leah Middleton at Marjacq Scripts, her first since joining the company in April. Publishing rights went to Michael Joseph in the UK following a five-way auction earlier this year and to Celadon Books in the US. The novel will be published next summer.
The plot centres around a grieving father and his seven-year-old son, who move to the quiet town of Featherbank for a fresh start. But 15 years ago Featherbank was stalked by a serial killer, known as the ‘Whisper Man’. The killer was finally caught and imprisoned, but there were always rumours he had an accomplice while the one link between victims is that in the days leading up to their disappearances, each claimed to have heard a whispering at their window.
The Ohio-born Russo brothers have directed various superhero films in the Marvel Universe including “Avengers: Infinity War” and Captain America instalments, as well as the TV shows “Arrested Development” and “Community”.
North said: "As an enormous fan of Joe and Anthony Russo's film-making, I am absolutely delighted to be working with Agbo to bring The Whisper Man to the screen. I can't imagine a better home for it."
Joel Richardson, publisher of Michael Joseph, said: “Ever since I finished The Whisper Man late at night, my heart pounding, I knew it would make a fantastic movie.”
The rights to The Whisper Man have also sold to Germany (Blanvalet), Finland (Otava), Holland (Ambo Anthos), Greece (Harlenic), Spain (HarperCollins Iberica), Portugal (Topseller), Czech and Slovakia (Albatros), Italy (Mondadori), Brazil (Record) and Hungary (Gabo), Poland (Muza) with more auctions ongoing.
For publishing rights enquiries, contact Sarah Scarlett at Michael Joseph on firstname.lastname@example.org.