Kevin Hamedani and Travis Betz will adapt for Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman’s Mandeville Films which is producing.
The novel follows half-Persian Darius Kellner, a fanboy who knows how to speak Klingon better than Farsi, and is more versed in Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. However, his first-ever trip to Iran is about to change his life. He’s never really fit in at home, and he's sure things are going to be the same in Iran. His clinical depression doesn't exactly help. Then Darius meets Sohrab, the boy next door, and everything changes. Soon, they're spending their days together, playing soccer, eating faludeh, and talking for hours on a secret rooftop overlooking the city's skyline. Sohrab calls him Darioush—the original Persian version of his name—and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he's Darioush to Sohrab.
Darius was selected as a BEA Young Adult Buzz Book prior to being published, and went on to win many accolades, including this year’s William C. Morris Debut Award.
This is the first studio deal for scribes Betz and Hamedani. Their script Saviors made the 2017 Black List, and is currently in pre-production with Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Films producing and Hamedani directing. In addition to Saviors, Hamedani has won numerous festival awards for much of his work, including his first feature ZMD: Zombies Of Mass Destruction, which was distributed by Lionsgate, as well as his award-winning short film In Her Place. His last feature film, Junk, premiered at the Austin Film Festival, and also has won numerous festival awards.
Mandeville's Senior Vice President Alex Young will executive produce alongside Universal's Senior Vice President of Production Jeyun Munford and Creative Executive Christine Sun, who’ll oversee on behalf of the studio.
Mandeville Films has the Amazon Studios’ release The Aeronauts coming out on Dec. 6, and they’re also producers on the ABC series The Fix.
Hamedani and Betz are represented by Paradigm, Lee Stobby Entertainment, and attorneys Joel VanderKloot Betz and Eric Feig Hamedani.
Welcome to Out of the Disney Vault, where we explore the unsung gems and forgotten disasters currently streaming on Disney+.
With recent global events, plenty of people are resorting to nostalgia and comfort when it comes to their movie watching. Whether it’s that comedy you love or a family-friendly movie you loved as a kid, few things can help calm you down when the world seems chaotic quite like a good movie. That’s why for this week’s Out of the Disney Vault column, I decided to re-watch one of my favorite Disney animated movies, which is usually ignored when discussing the Disney Renaissance: The Great Mouse Detective.
What do you get when you combine Disney animation magic, a Sherlock Holmes-like mystery, film noir aesthetic, and one of the most deliciously diabolical and elegant Disney villains, voiced by none other than Vincent Price? One hell of a good time to get you through these social-distancing times.
As we’ve mentioned in this column before, the ‘80s was a dark period for Disney, infamous for the string of financial flops for the company. When it became obvious that Disney executives, particularly Jeffrey Katzenberg, weren’t happy with how The Black Cauldron was turning out, an adaptation of Eve Titus’ book series “Basil of Baker Street” was approved as an alternative. But when Cauldron became a huge financial flop, Disney CEO Michael Eisner slashed the production budget in half, from $24 million to around $10 million, and moved the release date up, giving the production year a single year to complete the film.
Because of the short time for production, The Great Mouse Detective features five different directors, including the directorial debuts of two future prominent Disney animation figures: Ron Clements and John Musker. The film follows the titular great detective, Basil of Baker Street voiced by Barrie Ingham. He’s pretty much a stand-in for Sherlock Holmes, and lives in the famed detective’s flat Holmes himself makes a quick appearance, and works with Dr. David Dawson Val Bettin, who just like a certain Watson, is returning from service in the Middle East.
Together they’re hired to solve the case of a toymaker that was kidnapped by the henchman of criminal mastermind, Professor Ratigan Price.
In many ways, The Great Mouse Detective feels like a better version of what The Black Cauldron tried to do – it takes a genre usually aimed at a slightly older audience, and make it accessible for everyone. But unlike the latter, The Great Mouse Detective very much feels like a dark detective noir, but it’s a film kids can still see and enjoy. The visual palette feels straight out of a classic detective film of the ‘50s and ‘60s, with gloomy greens and grays that bring the melancholic and grim Victorian Era London to life...
Universal has picked up the film rights to New York Times bestselling author Tracy Wolff’s upcoming YA vampire novel Crave.
Crave, billed as a paranormal fantasy with a feminist perspective, follows a human girl who finds herself in the midst of a conflict between warring factions when she falls for a vampire prince, Jaxon Vega. He’s a vampire with deadly secrets who hasn't felt anything for a hundred years. But there's something about him that calls to her, something broken in him that somehow fits with what's broken in her - which could spell death for both of them. The young girl learns that Jaxon has walled himself off for a reason. And now someone wants to wake him, a sleeping monster, and she could very well be the bait. The book is available for sale tomorrow, April 7 from Entangled Publishing, distributed by Macmillan in New York.
Wolff is the bestselling author of 64 novels that run the gamut of commercial fiction. She’s a former English professor who now writes full-time from her home in Austin, Texas.
Universal's SVP of Production Jeyun Munford and Creative Executive Christine Sun will oversee the project on behalf of the studio.
Wolff is represented by Emily Sylvan Kim of The Prospect Agency. The deal was negotiated by Nicole Resciniti, The Alliance Rights Agency, and Debbie Deuble Hill at APA.