pmanEXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures just closed a deal for Grasshopper Jungle, the just-published Dutton YA novel by Andrew Smith. Scott Rosenberg brought in the project and is negotiating to adapt it for producer Matt Tolmach. It’s perhaps best described as Stand By Me meets Attack The Block, a coming-of-age yarn revolving around a teenager in Iowa trying to come to grips with his own sexual feelings as he and his cohorts cause a deadly genetically engineered plague that unleashes an army of 6-foot-tall praying mantises with an insatiable appetite for fighting, food, and fornicating.

grasshMichael De Luca and Elizabeth Cantillon steered the deal for Sony. De Luca just started at the studio but he also brought in the $1 million spec Winter’s Knight last weekend. Rosenberg is best known for scripting such films as Beautiful Girls, Con Air and High Fidelity and who most recently rewrote Heist for Steve Zaillian and Steven Spielberg at DreamWorks for Scott Waugh to direct. Paradigm’s Dana Spector brokered the book deal for Michael Bourret of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. WME reps Rosenberg.