I'm pleased to announce that the movie rights for The Hunchback Assignments have been sold. This deal has been percolating in the background for some time (years, in fact)! The story itself has always been very visual and I'm excited that steps are now being taken to bring that vision to the screen. I've had a glimpse at the script and it looks excellent. Here's the official press release.
Thunderbird & Sandpiper to Develop Modo, a Feature Film Based on The Hunchback Assignments
Vancouver-based Thunderbird is teaming up with Western Australia's Sandpiper Entertainment on the development of a feature film based on the novel The Hunchback Assignments by award-winning Canadian author Arthur Slade.
ScreenWest, the Western Australia government's film and television agency, is funding initial script development with Thunderbird.
The script is being written by Canadian-born, but Perth-based, Paul Barron working with Thunderbird's Vice President of Production, Alex Raffé. Paul's recent credits include creating, writing for and producing Parallax (Nine Network, BBC, ABC), Space Channel's Stormworld and Serangoon Road (a co-production with HBO (Asia) currently screening on Superchannel). Alex's features include Patricia Rozema’s iconic Canadian film, I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing, and her more recent credits include the series Some Assembly Required (YTV, Netflix), Mr. Young (YTV, DisneyXD) amongst others.
The working title of the film is Modo, taken from the principal character’s name, a shapeshifter who is at the centre of the first novel and its sequels. Alex notes that "Arthur Slade has created a unique world, an action-filled steampunk adventure with compelling young adult characters that will resonate with audiences worldwide. We are delighted that Paul brought Arthur's books to us and are thrilled to be involved in developing a feature film based on such an exciting story."
Arthur Slade is the winner of the Governor General's Award in Canada for Youth Fiction and France's Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire. The Hunchback novels have been published worldwide.
Thunderbird is a rapidly growing Vancouver-based TV and film production company with offices in Los Angeles, Toronto and London. Thunderbird produces award-winning programming for Canadian and International broadcasters. The Thunderbird group of companies includes Vancouver-based Reunion Pictures, Great Pacific Media and Atomic Cartoons, UK-based theatrical distributor Soda Pictures, and a joint venture with Lionsgate, Sea to Sky Entertainment, which is dedicated to creating content for the US and International market.
Sandpiper was established by Paul Barron several years to focus on co-productions. His Producer and/or Executive Producer credits range from contemporary feature films such as Father, Shame and Blackfellas to the long-running children’s/family TV comedy/drama series Ship to Shore to the Australian-Irish primetime mini-series Kings in Grass Castles. His past productions have won over fifty national and international awards, featured the screen debuts of Nicole Kidman and Heath Ledger, and include AFI Best Actor/Actress winners Max von Sydow (Father) and Stephen Dillane (Kings in Grass Castles).
And there you have it! Whew! I'm going to go out and buy a "I'm sitting next to the director" chair.