'Artemis' optioned jointly by Tribeca
FRANKFURT– In a preemptive buy that puts Miramax in possession of two of the hottest commodities at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the mini-major has optioned French novel “L’Education d’une Fee” (“The Education of a Fairy”) by Didier van Cauwelaert for what’s said to be a six-figure sum.A week ago, Miramax closed a book and film deal for Eoin Colfer’s “Artemis Fowl,” a novel about a young criminal genius widely compared to the Harry Potter series. Film rights to “Artemis” were optioned jointly by Tribeca Films, with Tribeca partners Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal attached to produce. In Frankfurt, agent Sophie Hicks of Ed Victor Ltd. has been fielding a storm of foreign offers for the book — one publisher bought the project sight unseen — and rights are expected to sell in close to 10 territories by the end of the fair. “Education,” published by the independent Paris house Albin Michel in June, has yet to be translated into English. American publishing rights are still available, and editors at several New York houses were circling the project Friday. The novel concerns a toy inventor who falls in love with a recently widowed woman and becomes a close friend of her young son. When the woman announces the relationship is over, the son attempts to sort out their problems with the help of a check-out cashier he’s convinced is a fairy in disguise. Attended by nearly 300,000 members of the international book biz, the Frankfurt Book Fair has been largely ignored by Hollywood as a place to prospect for film projects. Miramax creative affairs veep Jennifer Wachtell was virtually alone among American development execs scouting the exhibition halls. Wachtell will oversee “Education” at Miramax, reporting to production co-prexy Meryl Poster. Miramax senior veep of business and legal affairs Steven Hutensky and veep of business affairs and international relations Stuart Ford repped the company. Albin Michel’s Marie Dormann and Lisa Rounds of the French Publishers Agency repped Cauwelaert.