EXCLUSIVE: Imagine Entertainment has won an auction for screen rights to Afterlife, the Marcus Sakey novel that went out to producers and studios last weekend. Sakey will write the screenplay. Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Erica Huggins are producing along with Shane Salerno at The Story Factory. The book will be published by Amazon on July 11.
Imagine made the acquisition through its own funding after Huggins brought in the project. The book had another studio offer but the author sparked to Imagine’s plan to package it before placing it with a studio. Afterlife is described as a mind-bending science fiction tale, a love story that crosses parallel worlds and so treads visually in terrain covered by such films as Ghost, Inception and The Matrix.
Sakey previously wrote the bestseller Brilliance, and sold screen rights to Legendary for $1.25 million after a heated auction several years ago. David Koepp was hired to adapt for Will Smith to star and Joe Roth to produce. The movie stalled as Legendary reshuffled its executive ranks. The book has sold more than 1 million copies, and rights went back to the author, who subsequently wrote two more novels to complete a trilogy.
CAA brokered the Afterlife with The Story Factory, the latter of which sold Don Winslow’s The Cartel and The Force to Fox and is partnered with Hunger Games producers Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson on The Second Life Of Nick Mason at Lionsgate.