EXCLUSIVE: Waterman Entertainment and Riven Rock Projects principal Cooper Waterman and producer Matthew Phelps are moving into the action-thriller space with the acquisition of Steve Berry’s Cotton Malone book series, which they are developing as a potential TV series.
The books, which were picked up under the Riven Rock Projects label, currently consists of 14 installments, with the most recent, The Malta Exchange, released March 5 and debuting at No. 7 on the New York Times Bestseller’s list.
Berry’s Cotton Malone, a former agent for the Justice Department, has crisscrossed the globe on electrifying quests. With the brilliant and adept Cassiopeia Vitt by his side, he faces the world’s deadliest terrorists, assassins and con men, unraveling along the way some of history’s most legendary and iconic mysteries.
Berry, an attorney-turned-bestselling author, has 25 million books in print, which have been translated into 40 languages. “It’s been a dream of mine to see Cotton on the screen,” said Berry. “These folks have an impressive vision, and I look forward to seeing that vision come alive.”
Waterman served as an executive producer on the animated feature, Son of Bigfoot, for Studiocanal; Unbanned: The Legend of AJ1 for Lionsgate and Hulu; and Lionsgate’s forthcoming animated pic The Queen’s Corgi. Phelps most recently ran the Ubisoft Film Group where he oversaw development and production of projects with Michael Bay, Stephen Gaghan and Tom Hardy among others.
“As fans we couldn’t be more excited about this acquisition,” said Waterman and Phelps in a joint statement. “Steve Berry has created a character in Cotton Malone that tens of millions of readers around the world have fallen in love with, and we are honored to be able to adapt his life’s work into an iconic international crime thriller.”