EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures is in final negotiations to scoop up the New York Times bestselling novel Greenglass House by Kate Milford — a middle grade story that won the Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery. The project, which was picked up for mid-six figure deal after a pre-emptive bid, is being eyed as a possible new franchise for the studio. Ian Bryce, who knows a bit about producing successful franchises (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers: Age Of Extinction) will produce with Joe Ballarini adapting. All deals are being finalized. Ballarini, who is best known for having scripted My Little Pony, just last month sealed a deal to adapt his own novel Babysitters Guide To Monsters for Walden and Montecito Pictures.
The book was published in August 2014 by Clarion Books and became a finalist for a National Book Award. The story centers around a 12-year-old innkeeper’s adopted son Milo who realizes that guests checking into his father’s inn all have a connection to the house. Milo’s home/inn soon becomes populated with mysterious guests each one with stories stranger than the next — and all connected to the old house. As objects go missing and tempers flare, Milo and Meddy, the cook’s daughter, must decipher clues and untangle the web of deepening mysteries to discover the truth about the Greenglass House. A rambling old inn, a strange map, an attic packed with treasures, squabbling guests, theft, friendship, and an unusual haunting are the elements of this hoped-for new Paramount franchise.
Ballarini’s My Little Pony is slated for release in 2018. The writers is also scripting the adaptation of the kids book Cardboard for Fox Animation and previously sold the spec script Lockdown At Franklin High to Sony Pictures with Michael Bay producing.
Paradigm represented Milford in the deal on behalf of Barry Goldblatt of Barry Goldblatt Literary. Ballarini is repped by Paradigm and McKuin Frankel.