EXCLUSIVE: Angie Thomas, whose YA drama The Hate U Give was turned into a lauded film by Fox 2000, is moving her newest bestseller On the Come Up from that studio over to Paramountm and it will get made through the studio’s Paramount Players division.
This becomes the second – but likely not last – picture to move over following the close of the sale of Fox to Disney and the subsequent dismantling of Elizabeth Gabler’s prestige film division Fox 2000. On Monday, Deadline revealed that the Paul Greengrass-directed Tom Hanks starrer News of the World will be made by Universal after it was developed at Fox 2000.
Gabler is still figuring her next move. Obvious landing places would be Sony or Paramount, since she worked so closely with the respective heads of those studios – Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos – when they ran Fox. Also on the radar is a scenario involving Amblin and Universal, sources said. Gabler, who was blindsided by the shuttering of her label, has told friends she hopes to move someplace and keep her creative team intact and bring some development projects with her.
Back to Thomas. Her second novel has been a massive YA bestseller since it was published in February by the HarperCollins imprint Balzer & Bray. I’m told that while her deal was announced by the studio in February, the deal never was fully papered and the author preferred to move rather than deal with the uncertainty of what might happen to the film version of her book.
The novel focuses on Bri, a young rapper and the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died just before making it big. Her father’s legend makes him a hard act to follow, but between Bri being bullied and watching her mother struggle after losing her job, she pours out her frustration into songs that become big viral hits. It is set in the same fictional universe as Thomas’ first book The Hate U Give.
The team behind The Hate U Give quickly aligned with Thomas’ follow-up with George Tillman Jr. attached to direct in a co-production between Temple Hill and State Street Pictures. Thomas is producing the pic with Marty Bowen, Isaac Klausner and John Fischer of Temple Hill alongside Robert Teitel, Tillman and Jay Marcus from State Street.
Temple Hill recently moved its deal over to Paramount, and production president Wyck Godfrey was formerly a principal in that production company that worked on The Hate U Give, so the move seems a seamless one. It’s not completely done, but it is happening.
Thomas is repped by UTA and Brooks Sherman of Janklow & Nesbit.