EXCLUSIVE: Fox Searchlight is acquiring rights to Nickolas Butler’s debut novel Shotgun Lovesongs. Brad Desch will write the script and Sherryl Clark and her Busted Shark banner will produce. Clark is also producing Desch’s first script, Fathers And Daughters, which made the 2012 Black List. The book follows the friendship between four men in their early 30s who live near one another in the same Wisconsin town where they grew up. Some in the quartet have left their birth state while others have not, and they are just now coming into their own as husbands and fathers with each hoping to finally find real purchase in the world. The title of the novel refers to the breakout album by one of the friends, Leland Sutton, who records it in a former chicken coop in a town called Little Wing. The book was brought to Clark by her Busted Shark exec Bill Karesh, who then sent to Desch. He immediately responded to the material and quickly developed a pitch.

Matthew Greenfield and DanTram Nguyen are overseeing the project for Searchlight. Butler is represented by Resolution and Rob McQuilkin, Desch by ICM Partners and Management 360.