Sony Wins Jeff Maysh Article ‘The Tree With Matchmaking Powers’; ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Peter Chiarelli To Script Pic

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EXCLUSIVE: Beating out bidders from several studios in a fevered auction, Sony Pictures is in negotiations to score rights to The Tree With Matchmaking Powers, an article in The Atlantic by Jeff Maysh. Peter Chiarelli (Crazy Rich Asians) will script a movie based on the true story of a German mailman who delivers love letters to a magical tree with matchmaking abilities.

Producing will be Sugar23’s Michael Sugar (Spotlight) and Ashley Zalta, along with David Klawans (Argo) and Lawrence Grey (Lights Out).

The Bridegroom’s Oak is a 500-year-old tree in Germany. It is the only tree in the world with its own mailing address, and each day it receives dozens of lonely hearts letters. It has also become a popular gathering spot for the lovelorn, who come from everywhere to reach into a knothole in the trunk, hoping it spurs them to soon find a partner. Known as “the original Tinder,” the tree is responsible for hundreds of marriages. When an unlucky-in-love bachelor becomes the tree’s mailman, the oak truly proves its magical powers.

Maysh has shown a keen eye for film-friendly magazine article subjects. This is the fourth major rights sale in a row for him with producer Klawans. They set the McDonald’s/Monopoly scam story at Fox with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, and two projects at Netflix – Dr. Rapp and A Catfishing With a Happy Ending.

Maysh is repped by Joel Gotler at IPG, and the article drew a crowd when an early draft of the story was sent to key studio execs right before its publication date. The match with Sony was made quickly. Brittany Morrissey will oversee for Sony.

Sugar and Grey teamed on The Laundromat, the upcoming Steven Soderbergh-directed Netflix drama about the Panama Papers. Chiarelli’s scripting credits includes The Proposal.

Maysh is repped by Joel Gotler at IPG.

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