WB acquires Jonathan Lethem’s new novel The Feral Detective
Kroll & Co. Entertainment, the recently launched production company of producer Sue Kroll, has acquired the rights to Jonathan Lethem’s new novel, The Feral Detective, through her exclusive deal at Warner Bros. Pictures. The highly anticipated novel — Lethem’s first detective story since his New York Times bestseller Motherless Brooklyn — sold to Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins, and will be published in November 2018.
The Feral Detective follows Phoebe Siegler, a sarcastic and garrulous woman who heads to California to try to find her best friend’s missing teenaged daughter. When a lead brings her to the stark and seedy desert towns just east of Los Angeles, Phoebe is put in contact with Charles Heist, a laconic, strange private eye with an uncanny ability to find those that don’t want to be found, who reluctantly agrees to help. She dubs him The Feral Detective. As the unlikely pair traverse the stunning desert and its enclaves and get closer to the missing girl, their lives are placed in increasing jeopardy.
The project furthers the collaborative relationship between the award-winning author and Kroll. Previously announced, she serves as an executive producer on Edward Norton’s film adaptation of Motherless Brooklyn, teaming with producers Norton, William Migliore, Gigi Pritzker and Rachel Shane, and executive producers Michael Bederman, Adrian Alperovich, Robert F. Smith, Brian Sheth and Daniel Nader. Currently in post-production, the film stars Norton, Bruce Willis, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Willem Dafoe and Alec Baldwin.
“Jonathan is one of America’s greatest storytellers and, without hyperbole, a true literary genius,” said Kroll. “The Feral Detective is similarly brilliant, and also a wild, funny, contemporary, and genre-defying piece of literature that represents the type of stories I want to continue to tell through Kroll & Co. I am thrilled to be able to help bring his novel to the screen.”
Lethem added, “It’s a thrill having Sue Kroll capture The Feral Detective for the screen. From the moment we first spoke, Sue persuaded me she saw Phoebe and Charles, and their wild ricochet through the book’s barbaric landscape, in uniquely cinematic terms. What luck for me to have Sue find the book and begin to make it her own.”
Jonathan Lethem is the New York Times bestselling author of nine novels, including Dissident Gardens and The Fortress of Solitude. He is an NBCC Award winner, a recipient of a MacArthur genius grant, and is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker.
Through her exclusive deal at Warner Bros. Pictures, Kroll & Co. recently announced its first acquisition of Peter Kornbluh’s gripping Politico article My Dearest Fidel: A Journalist’s Secret Liaison with Fidel Castro, which Kroll will develop and produce alongside Gal Gadot and Jaron Varsano.