EXCLUSIVE: Days after Little Brown closed a million dollar publishing deal on it last week, 20th Century Fox acquired screen rights to Matthew Quirk’s first novel The Five Hundred. The movie deal was worth low-to-mid six figures against low seven figures, I’m told. The book is described as The Firm, set in politics.
The Five Hundred revolves around Mike Ford, a young man from the wrong side of the tracks who works his way through Harvard Law and is recruited by the most powerful PR/consulting firm in DC. He becomes the protege of of the firm’s founder, who has his hooks into the 500 most powerful people in politics. The protege soon feels that he’s sold his soul to his ruthless mentor. The book will be published by Reagan Arthur’s Little Brown imprint, in a two-book deal. They hope the protagonist will grow into a franchise character. Several screen suitors chased it before before Fox executives Peter Kang and Emma Watts closed the deal Friday. They’ve yet to assign a producer to The Five Hundred.
Quirk spent five years at The Atlantic, reporting on crime, private military contractors, terrorism and drugs. The deal was made by Justin Manask for lit rep Shawn Coyne of Genre Management.