EXCLUSIVE: Will Clarke’s Altitude Media and Barry Cunningham’s Chicken House Publishing have secured their first joint deal and acquired film and book rights to Gemma Fowler’s novel Moondust. The companies’ first deal since their partnership was announced  at the London Book Fair earlier this year, it was negotiated with film agent Luke Speed and literary agent Sandra Sawicka at Marjacq Scripts.

The Altitude-Chicken House tie-up means the two companies can get involved in any given project as early as after seeing as few as three or four chapters of a book manuscript. The companies previously collaborated on Samuel L Jackson-starrer Big Game, about a fictitious U.S. President who has to battle the elements after Air Force One is shot down over the unforgiving forests of Northern Finland.

Will Clarke

“After our recent success with Dan Smith’s Big Game, we were anxious to build another property together from the get-go,” said Altitude chief exec Clarke. “Gemma’s thrilling action adventure and love story set on the moon is the perfect vehicle.”

“We are bringing Gemma’s first novel out in autumn 2016 and will work simultaneously on the script, fully involving Gemma along the way,” added Chicken House chief exec Cunningham. “Big Game was a great success for us — rights director Elinor Bagenal sold the novel to 25 countries within six months of its debut at the Bologna Bookfair in 2014 — and we believe it marks the start of a great partnership with Altitude.”

Altitude is heading in to Cannes with its buzziest lineup yet includes Jamie Dornan-Cillian Murphy starrer Anthropoid, based on the true story of two Czechoslovak soldiers sent to assassinate the head of the SS in 1941, and Vincenzo Natali’s Stephen King adaptation In The Tall Grass.