The novel follows half-Persian Darius Kellner, a fanboy who knows how to speak Klingon better than Farsi, and is more versed in Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. However, his first-ever trip to Iran is about to change his life. He’s never really fit in at home, and he’s sure things are going to be the same in Iran. His clinical depression doesn’t exactly help. Then Darius meets Sohrab, the boy next door, and everything changes. Soon, they’re spending their days together, playing soccer, eating faludeh, and talking for hours on a secret rooftop overlooking the city’s skyline. Sohrab calls him Darioush—the original Persian version of his name—and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he’s Darioush to Sohrab.
Darius was selected as a BEA Young Adult Buzz Book prior to being published, and went on to win many accolades, including this year’s William C. Morris Debut Award.
This is the first studio deal for scribes Betz and Hamedani. Their script Saviors made the 2017 Black List, and is currently in pre-production with Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Films producing and Hamedani directing. In addition to Saviors, Hamedani has won numerous festival awards for much of his work, including his first feature ZMD: Zombies Of Mass Destruction, which was distributed by Lionsgate, as well as his award-winning short film In Her Place. His last feature film, Junk, premiered at the Austin Film Festival, and also has won numerous festival awards.
Mandeville’s Senior Vice President Alex Young will executive produce alongside Universal’s Senior Vice President of Production Jeyun Munford and Creative Executive Christine Sun, who’ll oversee on behalf of the studio.
Mandeville Films has the Amazon Studios’ release The Aeronauts coming out on Dec. 6, and they’re also producers on the ABC series The Fix.
Hamedani and Betz are represented by Paradigm, Lee Stobby Entertainment, and attorneys Joel VanderKloot (Betz) and Eric Feig (Hamedani).
Khorram is represented by APA and Root Literary.