EXCLUSIVE: The Gotham Group has just optioned Janelle Brown’s critically acclaimed suspense thriller Watch Me Disappear which debuted in mid-July on The New York Times bestseller’s list at No. 13. Compared to by critics as spellbinding and engaging as Gone Girl, the novel follows a woman who vanishes on a hike in Berkeley, CA and is presumed dead. However, the questions over her disappearance brings up an unsettling thought for her husband: how well can you ever really know another person? Critics love this one and it has gotten great reviews in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Chicago Tribune, The Associated Press, Kirkus Review and Publishers Weekly, to name only a few.
The Gotham Group Founder and CEO Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Lindsay Williams are producing this one for the big screen. It was The Gotham’s Group track record of turning books into films that got Brown’s interest, the author said. “I’m thrilled to be working with Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and her team, whose intuitive understanding of my characters and their journey mean that the film adaptation of Watch Me Disappear will be something truly special,” said Janelle Brown whose book was published by Spiiegel & Grau. “I think audiences will find that the film is as much a roller coaster ride as the book.”
Watch Me Disappear begins with the death of the character Billie, a beautiful, charismatic, outdoorsy California mom who has come a long way from her reckless youth. She and her husband Jonathan seemingly have an enviable life with their daughter Olive. But one day on a solo hike, Billie vanishes from the trail. The only thing found is a hiking boot. She is presumed dead, but then a year after her Mom’s disappearance, Olive starts having “waking dreams” but not sure if they are hallucinations. She believes her mother is still alive as her father worries about his daughter’s mental health. However, once he unearths a secret, he begins his own quest for the truth.
Goldsmith-Vein is the producer of the box office hit Maze Runner film franchise as well as Kodachrome, starring Ed
Harris, Jason Sudekis and Elizabeth Olsen. Also the hit The Spiderwick Chronicles. She is also producing the film versions of the novels Shoot Like a Girl by MJ Hegar; Let the Great World Spin, the National Book Award winning novel by Colum McCann, and Ruth Ware’s mystery thriller The Woman in Cabin 10. “We’re delighted to bring this gripping, page-turning suspense thriller to the screen,” said Goldsmith-Vein.
The Gotham Group also entered a partnership with Little, Brown Books For Young Readers — a leading publisher of children’s books — to develop original IP properties for film and TV with the launch next spring. Its first project: the YA thriller Phantom Wheel from NY Times bestselling author Tracy Deebs (Ruined, Addicted, Exposed).
Brown, who is an L.A.-based writer, has won wide acclaim for other works as well — All We Ever Wanted Was Everything and This is Where We Live. She is repped by Gersh.
Other projects from The Gotham Group includes The Big Game, which chronicles the phenomenon of daily fantasy sports and Train Man, starring Julia Roberts as the lawyer defending Darius McCollum, the New Yorker who became notorious for driving subway trains illegally. On the TV side, Gotham has Star Trek’s Zachary Quinto set to star in and executive produce Biopunk, and is developing a series based on Randi Zuckerberg’s New York Times bestselling book Dot Complicated: Untangling Our Wired Lives.