EXCLUSIVE– In-demand writer Mike Jones has closed his deal to adapt acclaimed fiction writer George Saunders’ children’s book The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip for MGM. Saunders will serve as a producer on the project, which will be an animated feature.

The book, which debuted in 200o to heady critical acclaim, defies summation in a sentence but is described by its publisher Random House as a modern fable for people of all ages that touches on the power of kindness, generosity, compassion, and community. Set in the seaside village of Frip the stories follow three families: the Romos, the Ronsens, and a little girl named Capable and her father, not to mention the gappers of the title,  bright orange, many-eyed creatures the size of softballs that love to attach themselves to goats.

Jones, who once employed his boyish good looks and rapier-like wit to compelling effect during a brief spell as a journalist at Deadline’s sister publication Variety, is finishing the USS Indianapolis project for Team Downey and Tate Taylor at Warners. He also recently wrote a feature adaptation of Sesame Street for Fox and Shawn Levy.

He is repped by CAA and his attorney is Darren Trattner at Jackoway Tyerman.