I’m thrilled to announce that Hatching Twitter has been optioned by Lionsgate and we will be starting development of a TV series. Here’s the press release put out by Lionsgate earlier today.
LIONSGATE ACQUIRES RIGHTS TO NICK BILTON’S NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER HATCHING TWITTER FOR TV SERIES DEVELOPMENT WITH ALLISON SHEARMUR ATTACHED AS EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
SANTA MONICA, CA, and VANCOUVER, BC (Dec. 18, 2013) – LIONSGATE® (NYSE: LGF), a leading global entertainment company, has optioned the rights to Nick Bilton’s New York Times best seller Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal, with Allison Shearmur set as executive producer. Bilton, a columnist and reporter for the New York Times, will write the screenplay and serve as producer. The announcement was made today by Kevin Beggs, Chairman, Lionsgate Television Group.
Hatching Twitter presents a fascinating behind-the-scenes account of the creation of the social media service by four friends and its evolution into a juggernaut that changed the world. Bilton sheds light on the relationships, battles, power grabs and betrayals along the way in one of the most talked-about books of the year.
Published by Penguin/Portfolio on November 5, 2013, Hatching Twitter is a New York Times Best Seller that debuted at #14 on the E-Book Nonfiction list and #5 on the Wall Street Journal’s Hardcover Business list. The readers of the Wall Street Journal named it the Best Book of 2013. It has also made “best of year” lists in a number of other outlets, including The Economist, Gizmodo, Bookish and Mashable and was an Amazon Best Book of the Month in November.
“Twitter has transformed almost every aspect of our lives from politics to business to friendship, and I can’t think of a more compelling story to adapt for television right now,” said Beggs. “Nick’s book has all the elements of a great drama with its complex characters, high-stakes power struggles and betrayed friendships, and we’re extremely fortunate to have Alli Shearmur onboard as executive producer.”
“‘Hatching Twitter’ will go behind the scenes of a groundbreaking Silicon Valley company in a way that’s never been captured before on television,” said Shearmur. “‘The Social Network’ was a perfect film, and this series will be different, providing a longer view of the work life changes, gamesmanship and personal sacrifices made by a group of individuals who are building a company that will change the way that people communicate.”
“I am thrilled to work with Allison Shearmur and Lionsgate to adapt my book about the power, betrayal and billions of dollars that swirl through Silicon Valley,” said Bilton. “The story of ‘Hatching Twitter’ really speaks to a generation that has searched for friendship through technology and it will be very exciting to see it brought to life on screen.”
Lionsgate has enjoyed great success with book adaptations, including its blockbuster movie franchises Hunger Games and Twilight, which have collectively grossed more than $4 billion at the box office worldwide, as well as its acclaimed series Orange is the New Black which debuted on Netflix to critical acclaim in July and was picked up for a second season before its premiere.
Bilton is represented by CAA and Katinka Matson at Brockman, Inc.
Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms and international distribution and sales. Lionsgate currently has 30 television shows on 20 different networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mad Men and Nurse Jackie, the comedy Anger Management, the network series Nashville, the syndication success The Wendy Williams Show and the critically-acclaimed new series Orange Is The New Black.
Its feature film business has been fueled by such recent successes as the blockbuster first installment of The Hunger Games franchise, The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn – Part 2, Now You See Me, Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, Warm Bodies, Snitch, Texas Chainsaw 3D, The Expendables 2, The Possession, Sinister, Arbitrage and Pantelion Films’ breakout hit Instructions Not Included, one of the highest-grossing Spanish-language films ever in the U.S.
Lionsgate’s home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 15,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company’s core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.