EXCLUSIVE: Divine Rights Media’s Mike Landry has partnered with Derek S. Jancisin to option the rights to Andy McDermott’s bestselling Wilde/Chase book series. The hope is to hatch a franchise, beginning with the first book in the series, The Hunt for Atlantis. Aaron Berg has been set to write and produce along with Landry, with Jancisin exec producing. The latter intends to finance development and is a managing director and Wealth Management Advisor at Merrill Lynch in Pittsburgh. This marks his first foray into film production.
The books follow the dangerous exploits of New York-based archeologist Nina Wilde, who teams with cavalier ex-SAS British bodyguard Eddie Chase. Jancisin intends to finance along with additional partners, and they hope to engage in a multi-continent shoot in 2020. In the first book, which was published in 2007, an eccentric billionaire sends Wilde and Chase on a globe-trotting race to discover the legendary lost city and stop a sinister group from possessing the ancient mystical power that sank it 11,000 years ago.
There have been 15 books in the series, rights for which came as part of the deal that Landry and Jancisin can use to build a series. Other discoveries covered in the series include the mythical sword Excalibur and golden city of El Dorado.
The author said he is “thrilled knowing Aaron and the producers are adapting my novel into the epic action-adventure blockbuster I always envisioned.” McDermott was approached first by Berg, who wrote Section 6, the spec that detailed the origins of British intelligence agency MI6, which Universal purchased for seven figures. He also wrote G.I. Joe 3 for Paramount and Borderlands for Lionsgate. Berg also penned the original spec Hacienda, which AGBO acquired.
He is represented by Verve, Management 360 and McKuin Frankel.
Landry has produced a dozen indie titles including The Lifeguard and The Abandoned. He was most recently executive producer of Per Fly’s Backstabbing for Beginners with Ben Kingsley and Theo James.