EXCLUSIVE: In an unusually vigorous auction for a holiday week, Netflix just won the screen rights to The Wicked Deep, a first novel by Shea Ernshaw. The YA book was published by Simon Pulse and just debuted #7 on The New York Times Bestseller List last Sunday. Several suitors chased the book but Netflix just closed a deal that is six figures against high six figures if the movie gets made. Chernin Entertainment will produce.
Bidders sparked to the book for its potential to unfold like a Twilight Saga romance. The sleepy town of Sparrow, Oregon is considered cursed for good reason. Two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to die for being witches. Drowned in 1822, the trio comes up for air each summer long enough to inhabit the bodies of three weak willed girls with the intention of luring boys to the swimming hole for a fatal plunge. When a 17-year old named Penny Talbot falls for a newcomer named Bo Carter, she becomes determined to see he does not become one of the drowning victims.
The deal was brokered for Jessica Regel at Foundry Literary + Media by Hotchkiss and Associates. Chernin’s Kori Adelson was key in getting the book to Sarah Bremner at Netflix, and the deal closed quickly with Netflix and Paramount Players chasing it.