ELTON JOHN’S ROCKET PICTURES ACQUIRES FILM RIGHTS TO NYTIMES BEST-SELLING BOOK SERIES, NERDS, BY MICHAEL BUCKLEY
BUCKLEY SET TO WRITE SCREENPLAY FOR ANIMATED FEATURE ABOUT SPY NETWORK SET IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
LOS ANGELES (January 9, 2012) —- Rocket Pictures has acquired film rights to the New York Times best-selling series of books, NERDS, by author Michael Buckley, and will develop the books as an animated family feature film, it was announced today. Buckley will write the screenplay. The film will be produced by Rocket Pictures principals Steve Hamilton Shaw and David Furnish. Elton John will executive produce.
“Nerds is an action-filled comedic property with a great inclusive message at its heart,” said CEO Hamilton Shaw. “We think it has huge potential as a dynamic and modern family movie.”
Published by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS, the popular and critically acclaimed NERDS series follows a group of unpopular and socially inept geeks who run a spy network from inside their elementary school. Three books have been released in the past two years, with the third released in September, 2011. The series has close to one million copies in print in the U.S. and Canada and has also been acquired by publishers around the world to sell in six international territories. The fourth and fifth titles will be published in Fall 2012 and Fall 2013 respectively. Michael Buckley is also the author of the New York Times best-selling Sisters Grimm series published by Amulet Books.
From the publisher: NERDS: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society combines all the excitement of international espionage and all the awkwardness of elementary school. The series features a group of unpopular and socially inept geeks who run a spy network from inside their school. With the help of cutting-edge science, their nerdy qualities are enhanced and transformed into incredible abilities! They battle the Hyena, a former junior beauty pageant contestant turned assassin, and an array of James Bond–style villains, each with an evil plan more diabolical and more ridiculous than the last.
Rocket Pictures is Elton John’s film, television and theatrical production company with a focus on family and music-related projects over multiple platforms. Rocket Pictures most recently produced the 3-D animated movie “Gnomeo & Juliet,” which was released by Disney and featured an all-star voice cast led by James McAvoy and Emily Blunt as well as new songs by Elton John. The film earned $100 Million domestically and over $190 Million worldwide. Rocket Pictures is currently producing “Will Gallows and the Snake Bellied Troll,” written and to be directed by Kelly Asbury (“Shrek 2”), and also developing “Rocketman,” a biographical musical-fantasy feature film about the life of Sir Elton John, written by Lee Hall (“Billy Elliott”).
Michael Buckley was represented in the deal by UTA, NY publishing agent Alison Fargis of Stonesong and attorney David Colden. Rocket Pictures is also represented by UTA.