william wentonEXCLUSIVE: In a preemptive deal on the eve of the Frankfurt Book Fair, The Imitation Game director Morten Tyldum and his production company Norse Code have acquired screen rights to William Wenton and the Luridium Thief. That is a debut children’s novel by Bobbie Peers, the writer/director whose 2006 short film Sniffer won the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Norse Code will develop William Wenton as a directing vehicle for Tyldum. It is the first novel in a series of books, and it was published in Norway a few weeks ago. It was well received there, called “a Norwegian fantasy hero of international proportions.” Wenton is a 12-year old code-breaking genius who is trying to make sense of his dramatic escape from London to live in secrecy in sleepy little Norway. When his extraordinary talent for cracking codes is suddenly revealed, he faces the dangers that have been lurking around him for years.

The book is Salomonsson Agency’s lead title at Frankfurt, with a half-dozen deals already in the works from publishers around the world. That effort should be helped with the movie commitment from Tyldum, who was Oscar nominated for his last film The Imitation Game, and is currently teamed with Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt on the Sony Pictures sci-fi film Passengers.

Tyldum, Janne Tyldum, Guri Neby and Morten Foss will produce for Norse Code. Salomonsson Agency’s Julia Angelin will be executive producer along with Peers. Keith Fleer and RWSG brokered the deal on behalf of the Salomonsson Agency. Tyldum is represented by WME, Anonymous Content and Bloom Hergot Diemer Rosenthal.