BREAKING: Sidney Kimmel Entertainment has acquired the film rights to the No. 1 New York Times best-selling children’s book Pax from author Sara Pennypacker. SKE picked up the book after a bidding war with StudioCanal and Anonymous Content. The story about love and defining your family is about a boy who is separated from his pet fox and how they try to find each other again during the devastation of war. The project, which was announced by SKE’s president John Penotti and the company’s president of production Carla Hacken, will be produced as a live-action feature.
In writing Pax, which is Latin for “peace,” Pennypacker was moved by reports of children injured, displaced and orphaned by wars around the globe and was inspired to write a novel that explores the devastating costs of war, especially to children, through the eyes of a boy and his pet fox. In the book, it states, “people should tell the truth about what war costs.”
Pennypacker is the author of 20 children’s books and is best known for her bestselling series, Clementine, which has more than 1.5 million books in print.
“In its short time in release, Sara’s nuanced and poignant novel has resonated with children and adults alike and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to adapt Pax for the big screen,” said Hacken. “We look forward to having an incredible storyteller like Sara as a partner in this project.”
SKE’s upcoming films include Demolition, a co-production with Black Label Media, starring Jake Gyllenhaal (Night Crawler) and Naomi Watts (Birdman) from director Jean Marc Valle (Dallas Buyers Club) for release by Fox Searchlight April 8, 2016.
The production company is in post-production on Comancheria starring Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine and Ben Foster; written by Taylor Sheridan; and directed by David Mackenzie for CBS Films. It’s also in post on The Book of Henry, an original screenplay written by best-selling novelist Gregg Hurwitz, directed by Colin Trevorrow and starring Naomi Watts and Room‘s Jacob Tremblay for Focus Features.
The Pax deal was brokered by Sylvie Rabineau of RWSG Literary Agency on behalf of Steven Malk of Writers House.