U.S. financier-producer Black Bear Pictures has optioned the rights to Irish writer Naoise Dolan’s debut novel Exciting Times ahead of its U.S. release on June 2, 2020.
Following a successful release in the UK and Ireland in April, where it debuted on the Sunday Times Best-Sellers List, the novel has been picked up by Black Bear Television, which will develop and produce the novel as a premium series.
According to Black Bear’s synopsis, the story “follows the liaisons of Ava, newly arrived in Hong Kong from Dublin, who spends her days teaching English to rich children. Julian is a banker. A banker who likes to spend money on Ava, to have sex and discuss fluctuating currencies with her. But when she asks whether he loves her, he cannot say more than ‘I like you a great deal’. Enter Edith, a lawyer. Refreshingly enthusiastic and unapologetically earnest, Edith takes Ava to the theatre when Julian leaves Hong Kong for work. Quickly, she becomes something Ava looks forward to. And then Julian writes to tell Ava he is coming back to Hong Kong… Should Ava return to the easy compatibility of her life with Julian or take a leap into the unknown with Edith?”
Black Bear’s Teddy Schwarzman, Ben Stillman and Michael Heimler will executive produce alongside Dolan. The company’s feature credits include Mudbound, Ben Is Back, The Friend, Light Of My Life and The Imitation Game.
Black Bear’s President & CEO Schwarzman said: “We immediately fell in love with Naoise’s honest, wry, and intelligent prose, and her ability to depict remarkably complex yet utterly relatable characters. We believe Naoise is an extraordinary voice, with a huge future ahead of her, and Black Bear is honored to play a part in bringing her rich material to life.”
Dolan added: “I think my love of dialogue is clear from the book, so I’m thrilled to partner with Black Bear to bring the characters to a TV audience, and even more so to be involved as an executive producer. Black Bear is discerning, independent-minded, and very engaged with the novel, so it will be a privilege to work together on this project.”
The deal was brokered by Nicky Lund of David Higham Associates, on behalf of Dolan.
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