EXCLUSIVE: Fox 2000 has optioned the Steven Rowley novel The Editor, and Greg Berlanti has been set to direct the film and produce it through his Berlanti Productions. Rob Weisbach will also produce. This will be the first new project under a new multi-year first look feature deal 20th Century Fox has made for Berlanti Productions. Berlanti has developed a close relationship there with Fox 2000 chief Elizabeth Gabler, on the heels of the Berlanti-directed sleeper Love Simon. He has also set several projects with TCF chief Emma Watts’ division. All of Berlanti’s film projects are produced by Berlanti Productions president Sarah Schechter.
The author will write the script for The Editor, which Penguin Random House will publish next April. The novel revolves around an author and his world famous editor, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, after she embraces the latest novel from the long struggling writer and buys it for Doubleday. This seems like a dream come true as she coaxes him toward the finish of a candidly autobiographical novel about his dysfunctional family. Unfortunately, the weight of exposing his family to ridicule prompts the writer to lock up, and he cannot finish the manuscript. As the writer and his editor bond, she encourages him to write an authentic ending, after he heads home to confront the truth of his relationship with his mother, and deal with a long held family secret. Rowley previously wrote Lily and the Octopus, which Amazon Studios is developing as a feature. The author will be exec producer.
Berlanti Productions’ director of development Mike McGrath brought the project to the company.
Berlanti has his TV deal at Warner Bros, which recently signed him to a precedent-setting $400 million extension to keep him in the fold. He is arguably the most prolific show supplier going, currently with 14 shows on the air. On the feature front, he is also separately developing to direct Little Shop of Horrors with producer Marc Platt. The following film projects will fall under his new Fox deal, some of which he may direct:
Fox will develop Choose Your Own Adventure, a live action adaptation based on the bestselling book series, is set at Fox with Berlanti Productions producing with Davis Entertainment.
Also at Fox is Men Who Kill, a T.J. Fixman-scripted action-comedy about two CIA agents who improvise their way through a brutal underworld with no safety net and minimal assistance from the outside
Fox 2000 has Thacher Island, which Berlanti Productions is producing. BlacKkKlansman scribes Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz are adapting based on the Casey Sherman book Animal. The film tells the true story of a killer for the mob who becomes an FBI informant.
Also at Fox 2000 is an untitled film scripted by Michael Mitnick, which Berlanti Productions will produce with Appian Way.
Erin Simonoff and Molly Saffron will oversee The Editor for Fox 2000. CAA and Rob Weisbach Creative Management repped Rowley in the deal.