As several competitors circled, TriStar producer Wendy Finerman staked a bounty of $ 225,000 against $ 750,000 to option the screen rights to “One for the Money,” Janet Evanovich’s novel to be published by Scribner’s about a female bounty hunter.
The book rights were sold by Lynn Pleshette and Richard Green of the Pleshette & Green Literary Agency, who attached client writers Stacy Sherman and Karen Ray to write the script. The scribes will be paid $ 175,000 against $ 350, 000, according to sources.
The book created wide interest among studios because of its catchy storyline, in which a down-and-out New Jersey woman becomes a bounty hunter. She quickly warms to the job when she finds out her first quarry is a cop accused of murder who just happens to be the man who took her virginity and broke her heart when she was a teenager.
Some in Hollywood questioned the agency’s decision to attach the scribes, themselves virgins when it comes to credits on produced films.
“Lots of people were yelling at us, but it was because everyone wanted the book,” said Pleshette. “This is a wonderfully funny novel about a down-and-out woman, and a well-received script that Stacy and Karen wrote for Fox, called ‘Poor Holly,’ has the same kind of edge. It’s so frustrating when writers we represent don’t get the jobs, but it’s not like we forced TriStar to take them.”
TriStar production president Stacey Lassally said she thought the writers would work fine for the project: “Many of the best screenwriters spent years being unproduced, so it can be a badge of honor. Sometimes it takes a couple of drafts to get it right, but I believe they’ll get us there.”
For Pleshette and Green, “One for the Money” is the latest of several large sales, including the $ 1 million Andrew Niccol spec “The Truman Show,” Touchstone’s recent $ 600,000 purchase of Chris Crutcher’s novel “Ironman,” and “Tony and Susan,” Austin Wright’s novel that Universal bought for $ 250,000 against $ 750,000 for producers Linda Goldstein and Rosalie Swedlin.