Fox 2000 will dip into ‘Aqua’

Mermaid story penned by 'Magic' Hoffman

HOLLYWOOD — Fox 2000 has optioned “Aquamarine,” a young adult novel by “Practical Magic” author Alice Hoffman. The deal could be worth seven figures if the pic goes into production.

Story concerns two girls who discover a mermaid in the pool of their neighborhood beach club. When the mermaid develops a crush on a boy who works at the club, the girls have to plot to return her to the sea to save her life.

At a time when agents tend to package books with other elements — a producer, screenwriter, helmer or thesp — in order to provide studios with a development blueprint, the “Aquamarine” deal is a rare case of a high-profile option without an attachment.

“The leap of faith people used to take that if you buy something you can then figure it out is pretty much a thing of the past,” said Hoffman’s agent, ICM’s Ron Bernstein, who reps Hoffman with the Elaine Markson Agency.

Fox 2000 production director Jack Leslie is overseeing the project for production prexy Elizabeth Gabler.

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