EXCLUSIVE: Focus Features just won an auction for rights to make an elevated genre a head full of ghostsmovie from A Head Full Of Ghosts, the upcoming thriller novel by Paul Tremblay. William Morrow publishes the book next month. Focus prevailed in an auction that also had TriStar in hot pursuit. Deals are being closed for Ben Collins & Luke Piotrowski to write the script and for Dan Dubiecki’s Allegiance Theater to produce with Team Downey, the shingle run by Robert Downey Jr and Susan Downey.

The book blends domestic drama, psychological suspense and modern horror. The focus is a suburban New England family that is torn apart when 14-year-old Marjorie Barrett begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia. Helpless to stop her descent into madness as their home turns into a house of horrors, her parents turn to a local Catholic priest for help. That leads them to an exorcist, and by that point, the family is in such desperate financial straits that they agree to have the whole thing filmed for a reality show called The Possession. It becomes a massive hit, even as some detractors wonder if the whole thing is an Amityville Horror-like scam. If my description sounds a bit hokey, I’m told that it is not and that there is a powerful payoff as the TV show viewers get a lot more than they bargained for.

APA’s Steve Fisher brokered the deal.