Paramount Pictures has signed a seven-figure deal with Uber driver-turned-author Adrian McKinty to adapt his forthcoming novel The Chain for the screen, per Deadline, and miraculous is the only word that can describe the situation.
McKinty, who graduated from Oxford on a full scholarship, wrote a number of genre fiction novels over the span of two decades that reached critical success, but failed to pay the bills. After failing to balance book writing with odd jobs and subsequently being evicted, the author wrote a fan letter to The Force author Don Winslow expressing his self-doubt.
Winslow miraculously wrote back, urging McKinty to not give up and connecting him with screenwriter-producer Shane Salerno, who previously helped Winslow acquire several film and television deals for his works. In a very J.K. Rowling turn of events, Winslow and Salerno’s encouragement led McKinty to draft The Chain, and soon thereafter a publishing juggernaut was born.
Oh, about The Chain itself: The novel follows a mother who learns that her pre-teen daughter has been kidnapped and that the only way to get her back is to kidnap another child. Her daughter is released only after the next victim’s parents kidnap another child, and failure to complete the cycle will result in her daughter’s death.
Yeah, it sounds like every Halle Berry kidnapping film that has been released in the last decade but with, like, a cool edge!—but it has a nice story behind it.
“My story is a story of never giving up,” McKinty said in a statement. “It’s a story about writers helping fellow writers. I hope it inspires other writers who may be thinking about quitting, to never give up.”
The feature will be produced by Salerno and his book-to-film brokerage company The Story Factory.
Stay tuned for further updates on the adaptation. Little Brown/Mulholland will release The Chain in the U.S. on July 9.
In the meantime, watch a trailer for the book below and listen to the song that’s been stuck in your head since you started reading this post further down.