Ben Oliver's novels optioned by Lime Pictures; Scholastic will publish in the US
Chicken House has signed rights in a YA trilogy by Ben Oliver that has also secured a film option, as well as considerable rights interest in advance of the Bologna Book Fair (1-4 April). The publisher has world rights excluding Czech in The Loop through Chloe Seager at Northbank Talent Management, and will also publish in Germany. Scholastic has signed US rights.
The film deal, negotiated by Northbank's James Carroll, is with Lime Pictures, which aims to develop the novels as a multi-part TV series.
Luka, the central character in The Loop (2020), has been wrongfully imprisoned in a futuristic equivalent of death row, where young offenders await execution. Inmates have the option of pushing back their deaths by taking part in experiments known as "delays".
Oliver, whose previous fiction has appeared in literary magazines and anthologies, said: "I wrote The Loop attempting to recapture that sense of immersion and excitement I had when I was 11 and reading Goosebumps, or 12 and reading Harry Potter, or 30 and reading Harry Potter again. I wrote it for fun and now this team of absolute geniuses appears to have assembled around me to help make it better and share it with the world."
Barry Cunningham, Chicken House md, said: "I couldn't be more excited by this thriller series where drones, surgical enhancements and energy tech have created a divided world - unlocking the secrets of The Loop is going to be awesome!"
The executive producer at Lime Pictures is Louise Sutton, whose credits include Butterfly, The Dumping Ground, Midsomer Murders, Home Fires, Jekyll & Hyde, and Death in Paradise.