EXCLUSIVE: The Gotham Group has struck pre-emptively to acquire film rights to The Anomaly, a new thriller novel by Michael Rutger (the pen name for internationally bestselling author Michael Marshall). The book, which has a street date of July 2018, will be produced by Gotham and Bryan Singer’s Bad Hat Harry with an eye towards Singer directing. The director is currently behind the camera on the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.

Published by Grand Central in the U.S. and by Bonnier the UK, The Anomaly follows protagonist Nolan Moore, a rogue amateur archaeologist who (on the fly) is investigating strange mysteries and the unknown. He suddenly realizes that he has discovered something in the Grand Canyon that not only throws the whole of human history into doubt but threatens to end the world as we know it.

The Gotham Group

“We’ve been looking for something that combines the adventure of Indiana Jones with the mystery of Lost and the scares of Alien, and we think The Anomaly has that winning combination,” said Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, the Gotham Group’s founder & CEO.

Other bestselling thrillers from Marshall (Rutger) include the Straw Men trilogy — currently in TV development — and The Intruders, which had Mira Sorvino and Millie Bobby Brown toplining for the BBC.

“I’m delighted and excited to be working on The Anomaly with Gotham,” says Rutger. “I’d heard there is nobody better at dealing in a smart, committed and enthusiastic way with the written word, and with writers themselves. Experience is proving this to be absolutely true.”

One impressive note: The author has won the British Fantasy Award for best short story more times than any other author in history.

The deal was brokered by Luke Speed on behalf of Jonny Geller at Curtis Brown Group. Rutger’s book agent is ICM Partners, with film handled at CAA. Gotham is repped by WME.