EXCLUSIVE: Entertainment One has acquired U.S. rights to Adam Silvera’s novel They Both Die at the End, currently No. 1 on the New York Times YA paperback bestsellers list three years after it was published, to develop for television. Silvera is attached to pen the series adaptation. eOne will serve as the studio and distribute the project worldwide. Drew Comins of Creative Engine Entertainment will produce through his deal at eOne.
Published by HarperCollins in September 2017, They Both Die at the End was previously in development as a series at HBO with J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot and The Other Two co-creator Chris Kelly. Comins and eOne pursued the rights when they became available, landing them in a competitive situation. Creative Engine and eOne already have a relationship with Silvera, whose first novel, More Happy Than Not, is currently in the works as a series at HBO Max, also with Comins and eOne. Andrew Haigh is attached to direct.
They Both Die at the End is a devastating yet uplifting story about two people whose lives change over the course of one unforgettable day. According to the book synopsis: “On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.”
The book made history as the first YA novel with queer Latinx characters to hit No. 1 on the New York Times bestsellers list. The novel experienced a resurgence in popularity during the pandemic and hit No. 1 again last month after it became a fixture under the TikTok hashtag #BookTok, where users recommend books and record their reactions to emotional story developments. It now ranks as the bestselling YA novel of 2021, and there has been a 900% increase in printings to meet demand. The novel also is a No. 1 National Indie bestseller, the No. 1 YA bestseller in the UK and Australia, and the top-selling YA title on the USA Today bestseller list.
Jacqueline Sacerio will oversee the project for eOne; she also oversees More Happy Than Not.
Silvera has expressed interest in writing more books in the They Both Die at the End universe. He is repped by UTA and Jodi Reamer at Writers House. UTA negotiated the deal for the adaptation.
Comins’ Creative Engine has been building a slate of premium young adult projects, anchored by the upcoming Showtime series Yellowjackets, now starting production for a fall premiere.