Waterman Entertainment has acquired rights to The Billionaire’s Curse, an Australian children’s book series by Richard Newsome. Plans are in the works to make a live-action feature film out of the books, which have sold more than 1 million copies worldwide. The company is also considering a streaming series.
The Billionaires Curse, originally published in 2010, is the first book in a series of six; Newsome is currently working on the next installment. The plot revolves around protagonist Gerald Green, a 13-year-old who inherits $20 billion from a great aunt he never knew, and with his new fortune comes a letter asking him to find her killer.
Former Ubisoft Film Group boss Matthew Phelps has come aboard to help develop the property. He oversaw Assassin’s Creed at Ubisoft and previously had stints at Gulfstream Pictures and Paramount.
Los Angeles-based Waterman Entertainment’s recent films include the animated Son of Bigfoot and upcoming The Queen’s Corgi.
“It’s the perfect setup for a fun and exciting film franchise like Spy Kids or a big-budget series from Amazon or Hulu to compete with Stranger Things,” said Cooper Waterman, who manages the company with his father Steve (an executive producer on Casper and the Alvin and the Chipmunks and Stuart Little franchises). He calls it “Blank Check meets National Treasure.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.