Shopping season continues for studios as Imagine Entertainment has acquired the rights to Marcus Sakey’s novel Afterlife, while Sony will be turning the short film Fragment into a full-length film.
Following the popular trend of obtaining the rights to a book before it’s released, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s production company, Imagine Entertainment, won a the bid for Afterlife, which will be released by Amazon on July 11. The story is described as “a mind-bending science fiction tale, a love story that crosses parallel worlds, and treads visually in terrain covered by such films as Ghost, Inception, and The Matrix.”
Imagine funded the purchase after it was brought to them by Erica Huggins. She will join Howard and Grazer and Shane Salerno from The Story Factory as a producer. Sakey will write the screenplay. He confirmed the deal on Twitter, stating that he was “So excited about this. Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are literally the best in the business.”
So excited about this. Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are literally the best in the business. || https://t.co/COM7DKysHB
— Marcus Sakey (@MarcusSakey) March 16, 2017
Sakey previously wrote the bestseller Brilliance, which sold to Legendary after a hot auction a few years ago. The movie, which has been stalled due to some executive shake-ups, will have Will Smith staring, David Koepp writing, and Joe Roth producing. The book sold over a million copies and Sakey wrote two more novels to complete the trilogy.
Two years ago, screenwriters Noah Griffith and Daniel Stewart wrote and released a short film Fragment, which went viral. Now Sony Pictures has purchased the rights to the sci-fi spec script, which is described as “a contained sci-fi thriller” in which Predator meets Lost. Josh Bratman will produce with the writer’s executive producing. Lauren Abrahams and Maia Eyre will oversee the project.
When the short was released in 2015, it had the following tagline: “An Air Force jet breaks up over the desert. A mysteriously radio beacon draws the pilot from the crash site. A discovery is waiting. And it is not of this Earth.”
Griffith and Stewart are part of the writing team for Spike TVs upcoming television adaptation of Stephen King’s The Mist. This is their first feature sale.
Check out the original short below and let us know what you think!