EXCLUSIVE: Amy Pascal’s Pascal Pictures has won a bidding battle for Crash Override: How To Save The Internet From Itself, a memoir by game designer Zoe Quinn that sold to Touchstone/Simon & Schuster and will be published September, 2016. The property was bid on by several studios and TV outlets, and several actresses are circling, with interest from Scarlett Johansson said to be keenest.
The movie deal was based on a proposal titled Control Alt Delete, and tells the story of how Quinn, creator of the hip interactive game Depression Quest, was targeted by a digital mob bent on upending her life when a blog post by her ex-boyfriend went viral. It sparked the widely-discussed Gamergate controversy and took a surprising turn when instead of running, she decided to fight back. It is a very inside look at gaming and nerd culture and what happens when one gets caught in the gears of that machine.
Rebecca Angelo and Lauren Schuker Blum are set to adapt. Pascal Pictures will finance and Pascal will produce with Rachel O’Connor, and Entertainment 360. The latter got the book proposal early on, and created the package with the screenwriters, who met while working as journalists at the Wall Street Journal. It was then shopped and Pascal Pictures stepped up. Pascal Pictures is Sony-based and that studio will get first crack; for right now, its development is being funded internally by Pascal. CAA brokered the deal. The agency and Management 360 repped the scribes, whose first project — the Tammany Hall-set feature An Extraordinary Man — has Anne Hathaway attached and is set up at Erika Olde’s Black Bicycle Entertainment.
Quinn perhaps best describes the potential movie and conflict in her proposal: “Gaming and internet message boards used to be niche interests, mostly for young men. In the past few years, however, they’ve gone mainstream. Millions of people — including women and other marginalized people — have taken an interest in the platforms, image boards, and discussion forums that once belonged by default to a much smaller population. Most gamers give zero fu*ks about this. Like the rest of us, they’re just here to play games. But a vocal minority are clinging onto the brand of Cheetos-and-Mountain-Dew exclusionary identity ‘hardcore gamer,’ muttering ‘fu*kin casuals’ under their breath.”