Sony Snaps Up Jack Follman's "It's Over" in High-Stake Bid
In a hot post-strike splash, Sony Pictures has nabbed the rights for the short story, "It's Over," penned by Jack Follman, winning a fervent bidding rivalry over the weekend. The deal comes with a significant price tag at the mid to high six-figure range. Akela Cooper, known for recent film hits such as "The Nun II," "M3GAN," "Malignant," and "Hell Fest" among her list of success stories, is slated to write the script. Cooper is also the co-executive producer of the TV series "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds," cementing her place as a major entertainment industry player.
The 29-page unpublished short story hit the market on Wednesday, marking the first notable sale after the end of the writers' strike. "It's Over," without giving too much away, delves into the painful dissolution of a long-term relationship with a unique twist—it straddles the horror genre while incorporating humor and social commentary.
Producers Roy Lee of Vertigo Entertainment and Scott Glassgold's Ground Control are set to produce the film. Verve, the agency that managed the bidding auction, has an existing relationship with the producers and notably struck multiple deals in the pre-strike period for unpublished short stories.
For Lee and Glassgold, this acquisition marks their second recent deal after securing Victor Sweeter's "Occupant" at New Line Cinema, with Zach Cregger also on the producer's list—a revisit to their successful working relationship after producing Stephen King's "It," "The Ring," and Cregger's "Barbarian." On the horizon for Glassgold is the 2024 genre release "HorrorScope" with Sony.
Actor representatives CAA and lawyer Gregg Gellman represent Cooper, while Follman enjoys representation through Verve and Ground Control. It is worth noting that Verve and Ground Control will handle the upcoming novel publishing rights for "It's Over," with Maia Eyre, a SPE exec, overseeing the project for the studio.
Now onto the witty recap, shall we?
Well, this all feels very "write in the kisser!" A bidding brawl, a six-figure acquisition, a horror story about a breakup—seems like Hollywood missed the writing world like a Hallmark protagonist pines for a small-town Christmas. With Lee, Glassgold, Cooper, and Follman on board, it's like forming the A-team of entertainment. All that's missing is a snappy catchphrase or a parrot mascot.
What's particularly noteworthy is how Akela Cooper is turning out to be quite the genre wrangler. From nuns with a vengeful streak to tech-terror to theme park homicides— and now, relationship horror? Seems Ms. Cooper has a spook for every situation. Let's hope she doesn't have an ex out there who'd be momentarily perturbed at the premise similarity.
Victor Sweeter's "Occupant" is another raiser of eyebrows here—the producers' second deal—a fascinating concept that could either be about a ghost, a tenant, or perhaps a ghost tenant? We'll have to wait for the trailers.
On another note, it's delightful to witness a growing cottage industry for unpublished short stories, with star attachments lining up like requests for Santa. As these stars align in the galaxy of Hollywood, we're all hoping for a constellation of stories that won't just be fleeting shooting stars but ones that illuminate the entertainment skyline for years to come.
A seasoned entertainment industry professional, Addison Prentice brings over two decades of diverse experience to Hollywood Dynamics.
Prentice has spent over six years as a creative professional in Los Angeles, including as a professional content writer for Meta. His deep understanding of the entertainment industry's intricacies makes him a reliable source for insights and trends.