Call it the Fifty Shades of Grey effect. Televisa USA has acquired the English-language television and digital rights to Anne Rice’s bestselling The Sleeping Beauty series of erotic novels. Rice will executive produce with Oscar-nominated producer Rachel Winter (Dallas Buyers Club); Endemol North America Co-Chairman-CEO Charlie Corwin (Half Nelson); and former CAA motion picture literary agent-turned-producer Jessica Matthews.
The books, which feature very detailed sex scenes, follow a beautiful young princess who is awakened from her long sleep, but in a much more provocative way than the traditional fairytale. And that’s where her journey to find herself begins. Originally published in 1983-85 under the pseudonym A.N. Roquelaure, the books remained top-selling underground erotica until the success of Fifty Shades Of Grey catapulted them into the mainstream. A longtime fan of the novels, Winter first approached Rice about developing the book series for television in 2012. Said Rice, “I wrote this to be fun, in the belief that dominance and submission can be romantic and delightful as well as erotic.”
“Now is the perfect moment for this project,” Televisa USA CCO Michael Garcia said. “On the heels of such boundary-pushing adaptations as 50 Shades and HBO’s Game of Thrones, the topics explored in this series are in the zeitgeist and we feel television is finally ready for them.” The project is currently going out to writers and talent, with a plan to put put all the creative, production and distribution elements in place quickly.
Televisa USA’s series credits include Lifetime’s Devious Maids and ABC Family’s Chasing Life. The deal was brokered by CAA, Christine Cuddy of Kleinberg, Lange, Cuddy & Carlo, Janklow Nesbit, Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer, and Loeb & Loeb. Rice is also repped by the Janklow Nesbit Agency.
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