Streamer Appetite Stokes Hot Material Market: India Mob Saga ‘The Age Of Vice’ Draws 20 Bids As FX, Fox 21 & Color Force Win


FX, Fox 21 TV Studios, along with Color Force’s Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson, won the rights to the Deepti Kapoor India mob saga The Age of Vice. In what seems to be evidence that the rise of streamers, the blurring of lines between films and TV and the fatigue of recycled IP has created a boom market for sticky books with global appeal, a remarkable 20 bids hit the table. That included seven-figure movie offers from major studios.

Sources said FX and Fox 21 won the deal with a bid in the range of high six figures against $2 million, mighty generous for a television project. The track record of Color Force’s Jacobson and Simpson in book adaptations includes Crazy Rich Asians, The Hunger Games films and most recently The Goldfinch. They collaborate with FX and Fox 21 on the series American Crime Story and Pose.

I have covered book to film/TV deals forever and this is the highest amount of bids I’ve ever heard of. Kapoor is positioned to become a major author as she plans two more books on this saga and will also write the series.

This follows an auction earlier this year that New Line won, besting 17 other bidders for Don’t Worry Darling, a project that Olivia Wilde will direct and star in. That auction was fueled by industry love for Wilde’s directorial debut Booksmart, and buyers were also drawn by a detailed plan for a movie that would cost in the range of $20 million.

The Age of Vice was brokered for both publishing and the TV deal by ICM Partners — the 20 bidders dissipated to a final round with finalists that included Amazon, HBO and FX, all this happening as Riverhead closed a multimillion-dollar deal for U.S. rights. The series will be shot in English and Hindi, sources said. Kapoor finished the 700-page first installment just in time for Frankfurt, and buyers found it a ripping read.

The saga is set in New Delhi, focusing around the wealthy, powerful and corrupt Wadia family. There is the young, ambitious, spoiled Sunny; his controlling, ruthless and domineering father Bunty; and the violent, powerful, bloodthirsty Uncle Vicky. Those who grow close to the Wadias find themselves entangled in the web of this family’s constant grabs for more power, land, and wealth. Into this cauldron comes Ajay, a boy from a low-caste, born into poverty and sold into servitude. Through circumstance, he finds himself rising through the ranks of the Wadia family’s loyalty. He intersects with the son of a crime boss and a young female newspaper reporter who becomes entangled with the two young men.

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