EXCLUSIVE: Fox 2000 has optioned Ava Dellaira’s debut novel Love Letters to the Dead. Producing are Temple Hill‘s Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen, who produced the upcoming The Fault in Our Stars. The author will write the script, under the supervision of Fox 2000 execs Elizabeth Gabler and Erin Siminoff will oversee for Fox 2000.
The book was published in April by Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers, to much acclaim. The story follows Laurel, a high school student whose beloved older sister has died under mysterious circumstances. Emotionally frayed by the loss, she unexpectedly finds catharsis in an assignment from her English teacher: write a letter to a dead person. Instead of handing in the assignment, though, she begins an ongoing series of letters to an eclectic group of rock stars, poets, and popular icons such as Kurt Cobain, Judy Garland, Amelia Earhart, and Amy Winehouse. She writes to her epistolary confidants about navigating new and complicated friendships, learning to live with her splintering family, falling in love for the first time. Ultimately, the letters reveal the painful truth about her past.
Dellaira is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow. She has also worked in the film industry, including on The Perks of Being a Wallflower with Stephen Chbosky, who first encouraged Dellaira to write a novel. Dellaira was represented in the deal by CAA and Richard Florest at Rob Weisbach Creative Management.
This was a hot property, particularly after Vanity Fair tapped it among “10 More Novels That Could Fuel the Teen-Movie Comeback.” The producers, who’ve moved from the Twilight Saga to producing Nicholas Sparks adaptations and the Wes Ball-directed adaptation of the James Dashner novel The Maze Runner, seems to have caught the zeitgeist with The Fault In Our Stars, which is tracking big for its June 6 opening; the John Green novel has a giant young fan base.