Warner Bros. Pays Big for Plane Survival Thriller DROWNING: THE RESCUE OF FLIGHT 1421

DROWNING: THE RESCUE OF FLIGHT 1421

Over the weekend, there was a major Hollywood auction for the upcoming novel Drowning: The Rescue Of Flight 1421, and Warner Bros. came out on top with a big-money deal. The book, written by T.J. Newman, who just last week sold her debut novel, Falling, to Universal Pictures, is described as a thrilling survival story set in a plane. According to reports, the auction was one of the wildest book rights auctions in recent memory, with five other studios offering seven-figure bids.

In Drowning: The Rescue Of Flight 1421, a plane crashes into the Pacific Ocean just six minutes after takeoff, and an explosion during evacuation causes the aircraft to flood. A dozen survivors find themselves trapped in a sealed part of the plane, which is perched precariously on an undersea cliff, 200 feet below the surface. Among the survivors are an engineer and his 11-year-old daughter, while the engineer’s estranged wife – also the girl’s mother – is part of the elite rescue team racing to save the passengers before their air runs out. The book has been compared to the classic movie Apollo 13, albeit set underwater.

The deal with Warner Bros. reportedly involved a payment of $1.5 million against a total of $3 million, making it one of the biggest book-to-movie deals in recent memory. Other studios that made bids on the project included Paramount, Legendary, and Universal Television, with some of the biggest names in Hollywood vying for the rights to the story. Filmmakers who expressed interest in the project included Steven Spielberg, Alfonso Cuaron, Damien Chazelle, Nicole Kidman, The Russo Brothers, and M. Night Shyamalan, along with high-profile producers such as Jerry Bruckheimer, Peter Chernin, and 21 Laps.

The movie will be produced by Shane Salerno, who famously took on T.J. Newman after her first book was rejected by 41 agents. Newman herself will serve as an executive producer on the film. Drowning: The Rescue Of Flight 1421 is set to be published by Simon & Schuster on May 30th, and with the excitement and anticipation already building around the project, it’s sure to be one of the most hotly-anticipated book-to-movie adaptations in recent years.

Source: Deadline

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