EXCLUSIVE: Fox 2000 has acquired a package for an adaptation of a popular YA novel that’s described as John Hughes-style coming-of-age, coming-out story. The studio bought Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda, a debut novel by Becky Albertelli that will be produced by Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen and Isaac Klausner (The Fault In Our Stars) of Temple Hill, and Pouya Shahbazian (Divergent) of New Leaf. The script will be written by Isaac Aptaker & Elizabeth Berger, who planned to pitch studios all over town, only to see Elizabeth Gabler’s division quickly take it off the table, preemptively.
The novel focuses on Simon Spier, a 16-year-old not-so-openly gay student. When an email written by Simon falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being made public. Change-averse Simon is forced to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out — in a way that won’t alienate his friends, compromise himself or ruin a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he hasn’t even met yet.
Fox 2000’s Erin Simonoff and Molly Saffron moved quickly to acquire the book, and New Leaf’s Chris McEwen will be associate producer. HarperCollins published the novel this year and it is set to roll out in 19 countries.
The scribes are adapting the Gayle Forman novel Just One Day at Universal for Fake Empire. They are in an overall deal in television at 20th where they are supervising producers on the Fox series Grandfathered.
Temple Hill has developed a young adult niche with Fault, Paper Towns and Maze Runner. Shahbazian is producing the Divergent series and is in post-production on the third pic in that series, Allegiant, and American Honey with Shia LaBeouf.
Albertalli is repped by Brooks Sherman of the Bent Agency, Shahbazian’s New Leaf Literary & Media, and attorney Jared Levine. Verve, Management 360 and attorney Adam Kaller rep Aptaker & Berger.