EXCLUSIVE: OddLot Entertainment has acquired screen rights to the bestselling Ali Benjamin YA novel The Thing About Jellyfish. OddLot principal Gigi Pritzker will produce with Bruna Papandrea and Reese Witherspoon. Rachel Shane will be executive producer. The script will be written by Molly Smith Metzler, making her feature debut after writing on the shows Casual and Orange Is The New Black. She’s also a playwright whose credits include Elemeno Pea, Close Up Space, and Carve.
The book follows Suzy as she enters seventh grade. After her former best friend dies in a drowning accident, she is convinced the true cause of the tragedy must have been a rare jellyfish sting — things don’t just happen for no reason. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory, even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Benjamin’s debut novel was a 2015 National Book Award finalist.
Papandrea and Witherspoon have produced films that include Gone Girl and Wild, as well as the upcoming HBO series Big Little Lies. OddLot co-produced and co-financed the Oscar-nominated Hell Or High Water, and debuted Landline at Sundance where it was acquired by Amazon. OddLot’s other films include Rabbit Hole, The Way, Way Back and Drive.
OddLot, a division of Madison Wells Media, also has the TV series Genius, about the world’s most brilliant innovators, with Ron Howard set to direct a pilot that has Geoffrey Rush playing Albert Einstein.
Metzler is repped by WME and Grandview, Benjamin by CAA, and Witherspoon by CAA and LBI Entertainment.