In a very competitive situation, Brad Weston’s Makeready has landed the rights to Gregg Hurwitz’s bestselling Orphan X book series with plans to adapt the thrillers into a TV series along with Justin Lin’s Perfect Storm Entertainment.
Hurwitz, who penned 2017’s The Book of Henry directed by Colin Trevorrow, is set to co-adapt the books, often drawing comparisons to the Jason Bourne and Jack Reacher franchises. He will also executive produce with Scott Nemes, Makeready’s Head of Television. Lin and Danielle Woodrow will executive produce for Perfect Storm.
The five-book series from Minotaur Books kicked off in 2016 with Orphan X, followed by The Nowhere Man and Hellbent, with Out of the Dark: The Return of Orphan X hitting shelves in January 2019.
Prior to Orphan X‘s release, the rights to the books were acquired by Warner Bros. in 2015 to develop them as a possible feature franchise, with Hurwitz writing, Bradley Cooper and Todd Phillips producing and Cooper potentially starring. Warners’ rights recently expired, triggering a bidding for the property won by Makeready.
The Orphan X series follows Evan Smoak, who after being pulled from his home at the age of 12 is trained in the Orphan Program as a secret government assassin. After he escapes the program he creates a new life for himself, until he is forced to complete one last mission: saving the final Orphan, as the same shadowy government forces that ran the Orphan Program attempt to wipe out any shred of evidence that it ever existed.
“True franchise characters in this genre such as Jack Reacher or Jason Bourne rarely come along, and Gregg created a really modern version of that,” Weston said. “The novels progress and lay out really perfectly with twists and evolving personal stakes that the plan is for each book to be a new season.“
Weston’s Makeready, his Entertainment One-backed independent studio and financier for film, television and branded content, has been building a TV development slate featuring projects with the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Gore Verbinski, Jamie Dornan and Amy Harris. At AMC, the company has in the works They Can’t Kill Us All, based on Washington Post journalist Wesley Lowery’s book and being adapted and executive produced by LaToya Morgan.
Lin, who helmed four of The Fast And The Furious films and Star Trek Beyond, recently directed the pilot for CBS’ Magnum P.I. reboot. He is next set to direct The Stand Off for Netflix. In TV, his company Perfect Storm produces CBS’ Magnum P.I. and S.W.A.T. and Cimenax’s Warrior. Lin is repped by CAA and Sloane Offer.
Hurwitz is repped by CAA.