EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures is tying down a deal to make a movie out of The Grownup, a package built around the short story by Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn. Natalie Krinsky is attached to adapt the tale, and Mike De Luca and Flynn will produce together what is her first big project since Gone Girl became a big hit movie. Studios read the short story and were pitched the material earlier this week, and the bids are hitting the table today. Sources tell me the deal will be high-six figures for the rights to the short story. It’s seven figures if you factor in the script and producer fees.

Paramount and TriStar were the other bidders, but Universal’s first look deal with De Luca (Captain Phillips and Fifty Shades Of Grey) made them a prohibitive fave in the bidding. Deadline revealed Thursday that multiple suitors were chasing. The Grownup originally appeared as “What Do You Do?” in George R. R. Martin’s Rogues anthology. Crown Publishing Group published The Grownup.

Image (4) gillian-flynn__140530071719-150x150.jpg for post 737629Image (7) Michael-De-Luca__131206235916-150x150.jpg for post 703766The tale is a thriller with an intriguing female character, in the mode of Gone Girl and The Girl On The Train. A harmless con woman is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when she meets a beautiful rich and terribly unhappy woman whom the phony psychic tries to help. She goes to her Victorian home the woman swears was haunted when she moved in with her husband, son and stepson. The con woman is charged with exorcising the evil within, and it’s soon clear she may have gotten in way over her head. De Luca execs Elishia Holmes and Lucy Kitada brought it in.

natalie krinskyKrinsky just adapted the New York Times bestselling novel I’ll Give You The Sun for Warner Bros. She is producing Ashley’s War alongside Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea’s Pacific Standard, which Fox 2000 acquired in a bidding war. Krinsky also adapted the novel The Engagements for Fox 2000 and Pacific Standard. In TV, Krinsky just developed In The Wild at Fox with Matt Reeves and previously adapted Tom Wolfe’s I Am Charlotte Simmons for HBO; her own book Chloe Does Yale (Hyperion 2005) for MTV; and has developed for FX, Fox, and the CW.

WME reps Flynn along with Jackoway Tyerman and Greenberg Levine Rostan Literary Agency; CAA and Gotham Group rep Krinsky with Greenberg Traurig.