EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros late last night closed a significant preemptive acquisition of the GG Walker novel All Is Not Forgotten. Warner Bros president of Creative Development and Worldwide Production Greg Silverman was at the center of this one himself, with Reese Witherspoon and her Pacific Standard producing partner Bruna Papandrea producing. Deal happened right after the book sold to St. Martin’s Press following a five house bidding battle, with plans to publish spring, 2017. The author used a pseudonym but she is Wendy Walker, the author of Four Wives and Social Lives, which also were published by St. Martin’s Press. The movie deal was in the mid six figure against $1 million range.
Warner Bros will be getting more aggressive on the book front, and it seems to make a good deal of sense given the outsized success American Sniper meant to the studio. The studio also wants more with Witherspoon and Papandrea, who’ve proven themselves book savvy producers who last year produced both Gone Girl and Wild. They’ve been a catalyst for other movie deals including Fox 2000’s acquisition of Ashley’s War, the Tzemach Lemmon book about an elite group of women who fought alongside Green Berets and Army Rangers in Afghanistan.
Right now, Witherspoon is producing, but Warner Bros will court her to play a key role. Book is an adult thriller about a teenage girl in picturesque suburban Connecticut who is brutally attacked and raped, and the secrets that emerge during the course of the investigation. Witherspoon will be courted to play the girl’s mother, who decides with her husband to give their daughter a pill to erase her short term memory so she won’t relive the trauma of the rape.
This is Warner Bros’ third project with Witherspoon. They are developing the Maureen Sherry novel Opening Belle and the recently published Second Life by SJ Watson. CAA reps Witherspoon and Watson, who is represented for publishing by Wendy Sherman Associates.