I would traditionally ignore a story regarding a book getting purchased for film rights, but this one came through as Breaking News from Variety and involves some big names and a blockbuster idea as Sony Pictures has acquired the rights to “Angelology” the first novel by Danielle Trussoni.
The interest in the project was apparently sparked once it was learned the book itself sold to Viking publishing for a high six figures after a publisher’s bidding war and then once folks learned it was a cross between The Da Vinci Code and National Treasure the cinematic possibilities had multiple studios (namely Warner Bros. and Universal) bidding on the property. Sony won the rights and the picture will be a co-production between Will Smith and James Lassiter’s Overbrook and Marc Forster, the Quantum of Solace helmer who will produce through his Apparatus banner. The fact Trussoni is definitely writing one sequel book, and possibly two, doesn’t hurt things much either.
The Michael Fleming article gives the following description of the story:
“Angelology” revolves around a 23-year old nun, who teams with an angelologist named Verlaine as they race to thwart a group that tries to corral the destructive powers of a race of angel/human hybrids called Nephilim. Their goal is to destroy mankind. Verlaine starts out working for the bad guys–who then tried to kill him–before he teamed with Sister Evangeline in a search for ancient artifacts that are the only things that can stop the Nephilim. The book is steeped in mythology and historical Biblical references, but the ingredients are there for a spiritual thriller.
There are no directors or screenwriters attached, this is simply a rights deal. However, if you want something to chat about, you can consider the idea that had it ended up at Warner Bros. it would have most likely ended up in the hands of Da Vinci Code scribe Akiva Goldsman’s Weed Road and if Universal had picked it up Brian Grazer, producer of The Da Vinci Code, and his Imagine Entertainment would have been calling the shots.
Unfortunately we will never know how it would have turned out in the hands of others, but if you are looking for something to speculate there is no better place to start.