Movie Deal for Mercenary Writing

mercenaryOPTI’m delighted to announce that the movie rights to Mercenary have been optioned.

And So It Begins… Entertainment is a relatively new Hollywood production company founded earlier this year by industry veterans Toby Midgen and Stacey Stanley. Everyone at ASIB has a serious pedigree, having worked for companies like Lakeshore, Anchor Bay, DreamWorks, Fox 21, Ridley Scott & Associates, Starz and BBC Worldwide.

ASIB represents one of the biggest studios in the Dominican Republic and identified Mercenary as a perfect fit for their client, Lantica Media (formerly known as Indomina Media) – which develops projects with an eye on both the English- and Spanish-language markets at their incredible new facilities.

You are probably curious how these guys stumbled across my book. Three months ago, Matt Carpenter (Head of Production & Development for ASIB) attended a NASA memorial at the Johnson Space Center in Houston for his father, Scott Carpenter – one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts and the fourth American to go into space – who had passed away in 2013. Matt met one of his father"s old friends at the memorial, a deep-sea diver who recommended a book he’d just finished called Mercenary.

Matt was then called up for jury duty on his return to LA. Impaneled as an alternate but not actually selected, Matt was stuck in a room all day with little to do… and desperate for something to read. Talk about a captive audience.

ASIB"s Director of Development, Adam Lane, emailed me to see if the movie rights were still available and I then chatted on Skype with both Matt and Adam. An offer was made soon afterwards, I hired an LA-based lawyer to negotiate on my behalf, terms were agreed with Managing Partner Toby Midgen, and then the option deal was signed earlier this month.

You can read more about how movie options work here. The short version is that a lot can happen between this stage and something appearing on a screen. Now the project moves forward, which presumably involves hunting down a screenwriter and actors and financing.

And I’ll share whatever exciting news I can along the way!

79 Replies to “Movie Deal for Mercenary”

  1. HOLY HELL, DAVID!!!! THAT"S AWESOME!!! Soooooo happy for you! *Arial does the Snoopy dance* Definitely keep us posted. I live in the LA area and have been in the movie industry since I was a kid. I know how tough this business is, so I wish you all the luck. Hang in there!

  2. Great great news!!! As the agent/ husband of the first Portuguese author to reach Amazon Top 100 (Filipa Fonseca Silva), God knows how we"ve been trying to do something like this happen. Getting an American agent is still a challenge on the table since almost none work with foreign authors…any suggestions?

  3. How exciting! Congratulations! A movie deal is probably what every author hopes for. You"ve worked hard for your success, hope it all works out for you, and I look forward to seeing in my local cinema soon!

  4. Congrats, David. Well deserved and I look forward to future posts as you take us with you on this process.

  5. Congratulations, David. I hope it makes it through the trecherous minefield of film pre-production, production, and distribution to make it to the screen.

    Will definitely be watching for it. Best of luck. (You do realize, don"t you, that an option is only the first baby step in getting a film actually made?) 🙂

    1. For sure. They say that Hollywood acquires ten options for each project that actually makes it onto the screen. I"m very aware this is the first step in a long journey, with many pitfalls. Expectations are set appropriately. That said, I have a lot of confidence in the ASIB team and together with their partners Lantica, they have a bit of a headstart. But it"s a long road ahead with many more ways that it can go wrong than right. Exciting though.

  6. Fantastic. I"d be celebrating like mad fool. Here"s to seeing Mercenary climb the ladder of possibilities until it"s showing on a big screen near me. Congratulations, David!

  7. Well done Cuz! (I might be putting that "R" back into my name if this takes off!) And who cares if it"s the first step – it"s a step most people never climb so enjoy it 😉

  8. As you so rightly said, David, this is a first step. You need a good deal of serendipity.The film rights were optioned for my mystery/thriller, Schreiber"s Secret, way back in 1997. The producers hired British screenwriter John Hopkins. John was famous for writing the first British TV cop drama, Z Cars, for the BBC in 1960. He also wrote James Bond"s Thunderball. John was married to Shirley Knight, nominated for an Oscar opposite Paul Newman in Sweet Bird of Youth. She has also won a few Emmys. All appeared to be going swimmingly as John worked on his third draft. Then I heard the tragic news. He had slipped over by the side of his Californian pool, banged his head, fell in and drowned. The producers, Norwegians, told me they had paid him a six-figure sum and could not afford to pay another screenwriter. So they returned the rights to me, and I have now had a go at re-writing the script. It"s on its way to the Beeb next month. So wish me luck!

  9. So pleased, David. You"ve been such a go-to for information over the years and apart from the fact that this is the beginning of another personal success for you, it also means we get the inside story. Onward to infinity!

  10. I"m a lurker who"s recently finished my own historical novel about Alexander the Great"s first wife Rhoxane (The War Bride) and digging through your book for advice via the Indie Power Pack collection. What fab news. Congrats, David!

  11. Congratulations on the movie deal! That"s not every day an author gets a movie deal let alone an indie writer. Even though this is just the first step that is still impressive nonetheless.

  12. Good deal David. Congratulations. I really hope Mercenary progresses from just being optioned to an actual in-the-theater movie. I know being compensated for the option is nice, but you really want to see how your story translates to film. It"s already 4 years since I first corresponded with you (April 2011). Does it feel like you"ve come a long way in a short while, or does it feel like “Thank goodness, it"s about damn time!”

    As always, to your continued Success!

  13. Great news! Maybe more Heads of Development/production need to be kept in captivity (so to speak) in order to find good material – a clear head away from distractions does wonders for ones judgement! Lock "em up, I say!!

  14. Well done! I wanted to say congrats like all the above comments.
    I love this new publishing industry with no gatekeepers trying to stop a great story getting read and optioned. 🙂

  15. Hey Dave,

    This is fantastic news! Congratulations!!! I was reading along and just kept grinning. On the next level, takin" off … Well done.

    Things going well here … Been working away at the next manuscript. I found a new editor, and I’m scheduled to hand it in to her beginning of September. And everything looks on time for that. So with a bit of luck have it out end of the year …

    Still would love to hook up for a few beers. How are you set towards end of September? If it is convenient for you, I could make my way to Prague for a night or two. I’d stay at a hotel somewhere central. So I guess it would mean putting up with me for a couple of long nights drinking Czech beer. On the up side, I’m buying first and last rounds. Let me know whether or not there’s a time that might work …

    I hope you’re celebrating! You deserve it!

    All the best,

    Tosh

    >

  16. I"m really delighted for you, David. You work so hard on behalf of the self-publishing community and I appreciate all the good advice and information you pass along. It"s great to hear such good news about one of your books, fingers crossed that it all pans out. Well done.

  17. Well done David. The story of how they came across your book is something that many writers sometimes fail to realize: sometimes all it takes is one person, the right person. Your story reminds me of Mary Shelly whose first print run of Frankenstein sold fewer than 500 copies. It would have been destined to be forgotten if it wasn"t for the fact that one of those 500 happened to be a theatre producer who thought it would make a great play. It did, becoming a huge success, which resulted in the book becoming what it is today. That one person changed the course of the book"s trajectory from obscurity to massive success, pretty much overnight. Of course, the book has to be good in the first place, but success can come from some unexpected chain of events.

    Congrats again.

  18. Pingback: The Globile Future For Indie Authors Starts Here | Mark Williams - The International Indie Author

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