Movie Deal for Mercenary

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!

About David Gaughran

David Gaughran is Irish, living in Prague, and the author of Mercenary, A Storm Hits Valparaiso, Let's Get Digital, Let's Get Visible, and this here blog.
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79 Responses to Movie Deal for Mercenary

  1. rjkeith says:

    That’s fantastic! Congratulations!

    Like

  2. Huge congrats, David!! That’s amazing news!!! And well deserved!

    Like

  3. Arial Burnz says:

    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!

    Like

  4. Hugo Janes says:

    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?

    Like

  5. Ali Isaac says:

    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!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Colline says:

    Congratulations!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. shawninmon says:

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

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wonderful news! Congratulations, David.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Congrats! I hope it all works out for you.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pat Mullan says:

    Huge congratulations, David. I enjoyed Mercenary. Great adventure. It will make an exciting film. Cheers, Pat.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. irshgannon says:

    Wow! Great news, David. So glad to hear about your success and the recognition for your fine work.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Huge congratulations! Way to go.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Congratulations, David. That’s awesome news. I hope you get (got?) the best possible deal, and wish you good luck and success at every step of the process.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Wonderful! Congratulations David! Much success on your endeavor…Yay you!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. TT Thomas says:

    Cool! Congratulations, David…hope we can say “we knew you when…!”

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Haley Hill says:

    Well done! You deserve it!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Shah Wharton says:

    I love how this story connects with the subject of your book! Well done, David. I’m chuffed for you. X

    Liked by 1 person

  18. csbaehr says:

    This is such good news and although it seems coincidental – it is a just reward.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Sara says:

    Congratulations, David. This is very good news, indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Juli Monroe says:

    Well done! Hope it turns into something fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Congratulations! So happy for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Congratulations, David!

    Like

  23. Dannal says:

    That’s exciting news. Congratulations. Funny how things work out sometimes, isn’t it?

    Like

  24. Congratulations! And what a great “discovery” story.

    Like

  25. Holy Toledo, Batman!!! Thank GOD for jury duty! : )

    This is incredible. Congrats, David!

    Like

  26. Great news. Congrats.

    Like

  27. Tammy Salyer says:

    Well done! Huge congrats!

    Like

  28. lornafaith says:

    Wow! That’s amazing David… congratulations🙂

    Like

  29. This is great news! I’m so happy for you, David. *throws confetti*

    Like

  30. 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?) 🙂

    Like

    • 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.

      Like

  31. jjtoner says:

    Hey, many congratulations, you jammy beggar!! You deserve all the success you get, my friend.

    Like

  32. Rebecca says:

    Congratulations David! Well done! Keep us informed.

    Like

  33. Wonderful news, David! Best wishes for the process, and enjoy the adventure!

    Like

  34. Snapshot says:

    Congratulations!! That’s great!

    Like

  35. Emma Wright says:

    Congrats! Great news – and love the story of how he found your book. Nothing like word of mouth!!

    Emma Wright Art http://www.emmawright.co.nz 021 891 806

    >

    Like

  36. cbaku says:

    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!

    Like

  37. Jes says:

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. Best of luck always!

    Like

  38. evie gaughan says:

    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😉

    Like

  39. 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!

    Like

  40. Cary Vaughn says:

    That’s awesome! Congratulations!

    Like

  41. Very happy for you. Good luck with this adventure.

    Like

  42. prue batten says:

    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!

    Like

  43. That is just epic, mate. Well done indeed! And just goes to show, no promotional effort is ever wasted, and there’s no such thing as coincidence🙂

    Like

  44. Congratulations. I hope they do a good job with it.

    Like

  45. Col says:

    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!

    Like

  46. josois says:

    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.

    Like

  47. Werner says:

    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!

    Like

  48. Congrats, David! I hope you get to visit the set when they start filming!

    Like

  49. Congratulations! Keep detailed notes – this is a prime opportunity for a glimpse into a new area.

    Best of luck with the next steps.

    Like

  50. Roger says:

    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!!

    Like

  51. D J Mills says:

    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.🙂

    Like

  52. cynthiamvoss says:

    Congrats! Best wishes to you!

    Like

  53. authorjim says:

    What a fortunate series of events coming to a truly deserving writer. Here is a digital pat on the back.

    Like

  54. Congratulations! I am so very happy for you. You deserve it!

    Like

  55. Jacquie New says:

    Such amazing news and well deserved, huge congrats! I’m also looking forward to reading the next posts as you take us through the process.

    Like

  56. Congratulations, brother! Cream always rises, but it’s great to have such a unique story about how your book was discovered. That’s the stuff legends are made of.

    Like

  57. silvina_dv says:

    I’m so so happy for you! THIS IS AMAZING congratulations!

    how are you? how are things?

    Silvina De Vita Designer / Illustrator / Paper artist

    http://www.silvinadevita.com (art & illustration) http://www.sdvgraphicdesign.co.uk (graphic design)

    e: info@silvinadevita.com Twitter: @silvina_dv FB: facebook.com/silvinadevita >

    Like

  58. toshiroburns says:

    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

    >

    Like

  59. David Alves says:

    Great news David! Way to go!

    Like

  60. jjtoner says:

    I read your book, and I think Lee Christmas’s life story is perfect for a movie.

    Like

  61. Considering the twists and turns in the book, a mini-series might be more appropriate, but who am I to judge? Great news in any event.

    Like

  62. 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.

    Like

  63. Idelle says:

    Congratulations!

    Like

  64. Meb Bryant says:

    I’m excited for you…way over here in Texas.

    Like

  65. Robert Forrester says:

    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.

    Like

  66. Amar Vyas says:

    David

    This is fantastic news. Loved reading the book looking forward to news on the film

    Like

  67. Congratulations! I’ve just started a blog where I’m writing short stories to kind of sharpen my writing skills, would you, and anybody reading this, mind checking out what I’ve got so far and letting me know what you think? https://zanyyouth.wordpress.com/

    Like

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

  69. Amy Maroney says:

    Fantastic! It’s so exciting to hear about an indie author achieving this kind of success! Way to go. Side note: I love the cover of Mercenary.

    Like

  70. D says:

    Congrats man! This is awesome and I hope it doesn’t get caught in the dregs of development hell!

    Like

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