EXCLUSIVE: In a pre-emptive deal, Fox 2000 has optioned the rights to Divergent author Veronica Roth’s latest short story, Inertia. Temple Hill partners Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen will produce with Pouya Shahbazian. The short story was published last spring in the Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin anthology Summer Days & Summer Nights. Greg Mooradian and Nikki Ramey will oversee the project for the studio.
The story blends elements of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and 500 Days of Summer in a love story tha takes place in the near future where technology allows for “last visitations.” That is a process in which a person can be connected to the consciousness of another nearing death. When Claire’s estranged best friend Matt is left in critical condition after a terrible car accident, she unexpectedly learns he’s requested their two minds be connected before he passes. Together they revisit their shared past, reliving the highs and lows of their relationship, and make new discoveries about the future they might have shared.
Temple Hill has produced the YA adaptations The Twilight Saga, The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns and The Maze Runner. Shahbazian and Temple Hill are reteaming at Fox 2000, where they now are casting the Greg Berlanti-directed Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Shahbazian just produced the Cannes Grand Jury Prize winner American Honey, and he’s developing The Selection at Warner Bros with Thea Sharrock (Me Before You) directing, and Red Queen at Universal with Elizabeth Banks directing.
Roth, whose debut Divergent was published by HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books in 2011, quickly built a global following. The series has been published in more than 40 languages, with 38 million books sold. The three Divergent Series films, which starred Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort and Kate Winslet, have grossed more than $750 million in global box office for Lionsgate/Summit. Roth starts her next novel series in 2017 with Carve the Mark, which will be published January 17 simultaneously in 33 countries and have a U.S. initial printing of 2 million books. She is repped by New Leaf Literary & Media for publishing, Shahbazian for film and Myman Greenspan.