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WL Film (with all the details this time!)

Here's the promised & possibly more articulate (or not?) post on the film thing.

The easy part--

Universal did an exclusive new release in VARIETY. The press release "Universal Makes Wicked Deal" went live last evening/night (depending on your time zone).

Today, there is an MTV article "Wicked Lovely Adaptation Confirms Faeries as the Next Fantasy Trend" and bunches of places where the news has been re-released. 

What this means? Honestly, it means that a) the universe has been kind to me and I'm very grateful and b) there is a film in development.

Since WL sold (in March 2006), the interest in things paranormal has continued to grow.  There wasn't much of a YA paranormal market before I sold WL. It's grown.  A lot.  We've had some nibbles of film interest (one I was interested in, and some that I wasn't), but the right people weren't appearing.   I signed with a new agent in July 2008, & I had no film agent, so we weren't even shopping WL to film people.

Then, out of the blue, my agent got a call.  Some guy named Vince Vaughn was interested in talking abt film deal. . . and I, as a not-typically-a-movie-person, had no freaking clue who this guy was.  I googled him.  I found an article about this documentary on graffiti art & music & Northern Ireland, & I read some interviews, & I learned that a) he's kinda kickass interesting and b) he made films both as an actor and a producer. 

[NOTE: I am now watching some of his films. The camera doesn't do him justice though.  In person, he is so freaking charismatic that you say what's on your mind . . . which meant I admitted "I had no clue who you were so I googled you & read abt the Ireland graffiti thing." Fortunately, he isn't an egotist, and the conversation was good.  A man that digs graffiti, Ireland, & music? *sigh* Yeah. I totally loved talking to him.]

We set up a conference call.  The producers are Wild West Picture Show Productions--Peter Billingsly (also an actor and producer), Vince, Valerie, and Victoria Vaughn.   It became immediately obvious to me that they totally get my books, so I agreed when they asked to take it to Universal. 

Universal said "yes."

Then, Valerie--who is shades of amazing that I can't even explain--called to say that Caroline Thompson (our top choice!) wanted to write the screenplay. 


Ok, now I've already said that I don't do movies, right? There are exceptions. Caroline has written several of them. In fact, i own several films that she's written. [NOTE: I own maybe a dozen films.  My family, of course, has somme, but I personally don't buy many movies.]  She wrote The Secret Garden (which is one of 2 VHS tapes I own, the other is Hamlet which I bought for a class I was teaching back when VHS was what we used in the classroom).   She also wrote Nightmare Before Christmas  . . . which became weirdly "meant to be" be when Caroline commented on the shirt I was wearing in my author picture for WL.  I bought myself a Jack hoodie the day I sold the books (March 2006) as my gift-for-selling.   Yeah, I could've NEVER guessed that Caroline would one day adapt my book.

I've seen most everything she's written.  I've talked to her & emailed with her & generally could not think of anyone I would trust more.  She gets it. She gets my world, my characters, folklore, fairy tales, & feminism.  With Universal, Wild West Picture Show Productions, & Caroline, I have faith that my texts are in the right hands.

And--continuing with the surreality--they have totally kept me involved.  There are calls, email, & I flew out to LA to sit down with them (and will do so again).  I explained that I didn't expect any involvement, & that I trust them, & they reply (repeatedly) that they want me involved.  So I am. I answer all their questions; I send them folklore references; and I generally think that even if the film never makes it to the screen, I'll still be very happy bc I'm having fun :)

So that's the long version  . . . 


( 62 comments — Leave a comment )
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Sep. 16th, 2009 07:53 pm (UTC)
That is excellent news! You definitely want to be there for casting! ;)
Sep. 16th, 2009 08:05 pm (UTC)
Wicked Lovely movie....great!
Can't wait! I loved the book...the cover and title of which both grabbed my attention...and the characters would be fantastic to see brought to life on the big screen. Of course, they already were in my mind's eye, but I'm sure full living color will be higher quality. =0)
Sep. 16th, 2009 08:14 pm (UTC)
Congrats! Happy that WL is being developed, but even happier that it will probably be *good*! Sounds excellent.
Sep. 16th, 2009 08:31 pm (UTC)
I had to congratulate you again over here for your specatacular news. These people really do seem perfect for the film. I am so happy for you, Melissa!
Sep. 16th, 2009 08:34 pm (UTC)
I'm so happy for you, Melissa. This is fantastic. It could be a wonderful film, and (perhaps more importantly) help you reach a whole new audience with your writing.
Sep. 16th, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC)
I'll bet Vince Vaughn was tickled that you had no clue who he was. He's my celebrity boyfriend...anyone who can make me laugh is sexy in my book! ;)

Again -- congrats -- this is such exciting news!
Sep. 16th, 2009 09:03 pm (UTC)
*whispers* If the charisma he has in person was truly captured on a screen, you would be even more smitten. No joke. He has this "wow, the room shrunk" thing going on bc he has total Presence.
Sep. 16th, 2009 08:49 pm (UTC)
Wow. I love the books but I'm still iffy on a movie adaptation. The names you gave up there have inspired me to do some researching too. I'm glad so many people are involved & I hope it does the book justice. Congratulations on getting the deal you wanted. =)
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Sep. 16th, 2009 09:31 pm (UTC)
whoa! i always get very nervous when books I love are optioned/become movies because I worry the makers will not do them justice, but your enthusiasm is catching and i am really excited about this whole thing! Please, please, please keep us updated!
Sep. 16th, 2009 09:32 pm (UTC)
LOL! I hadn't realized it was THAT Vince Vaughn =P

Congrats again!!!

Sep. 16th, 2009 09:33 pm (UTC)
Love the details! Thanks for sharing. Vince Vaughn is awesome and how karmic that you wore that shirt in your author photo? Wow, so neat! I truly hope WL makes it to the screen. I think it would be awesome.

Sep. 16th, 2009 09:49 pm (UTC)
Vince Vaughn! Nightmare Before Christmas! Alliteration! This post has made my WEEK. Eeeh, so excited!!!!!!
Sep. 16th, 2009 10:03 pm (UTC)
That's wicked awesome! I can't wait to see your books come to life on the big screen:)
Sep. 16th, 2009 10:13 pm (UTC)
Happy circumstances! Caroline Thompson sounds wonderful. I love her version of The Secret Garden. I'm glad for you, Melissa.
Sep. 16th, 2009 10:17 pm (UTC)
Now I'm pretty excited. The Secret Garden was one of my absolute favorite movies growing up.
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( 62 comments — Leave a comment )