EXCLUSIVE: The Last Word executive producer Aaron Magnani has acquired screen rights to Gearbreakers, the upcoming debut novel from 19-year-old author Zoe Hana Mikuta. The YA book, which combines action, adventure and sci-fi, will be published in spring 2021 by Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan, with a follow-up due the next year.
Magnani will develop and produce the adaptation via his Aaron Magnani Productions and is now looking for a screenwriter after beating out other bids for the book rights.
The story is set in a warring age where a power-hungry nation uses microchip-implanted human pilots to “puppeteer” 100-foot-tall mecha robots called “Windups.” A rag-tag group of renegades known as Gearbreakers, led by a young heroine, looks to infiltrate the Windups and take the bionic nightmares apart from the inside out in the name of freedom.
“With a Hunger Games-esque intensity and a Transformers-like sense of spectacle, a film based on this property feels ultimately like a bull’s eye,” Magnani said.
Other projects in the works from Magnani, an executive producer on the 2017 Sundance pic The Last Word starring Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried, include a biopic about Hattie McDaniel being produced with Alysia Allen. He also is developing Castle of Water, a 2017 romantic adventure novel from Dane Huckelbridge. Magnani is repped by Paul Miloknay at Miloknay Weiner.
Mikuta, currently a student at the University of Washington, is repped by Alan Nevins at Renaissance Literary & Talent Agency in association with Bob Diforio at D4EO Literary Agency.