NEW YORK — David Brown’s Manhattan Project has bought screen rights to the Leif Enger debut novel “Peace Like a River.” Brown will produce with his president of production Kit Golden, with whom he teamed for the Oscar-nominated “Chocolat.” Alicia Samms will co-produce.
Enger’s tale of family loyalty and revenge revolves around a Minnesota family with a fiercely loyal dad and equally loyal children. A dispute with a group of neighborhood toughs leads to the murder of two of them.
The shooter flees and hides, and the family, with the law on its tail, tries to track down the murder suspect through a series of adventures, ending with a “Sixth Sense” twist that underscores the family’s loyalty to its members.
Shopped for publishing rights over the past week, the book gathered momentum quickly. Lit agent Paul Cirone of the Aaron Priest Agency sold it to Grove/Atlantic editor Elizabeth Schmitz after the house pledged to make it a lead fall title with a hardcover printing of 100,000.
Brown’s long print stint
AMG Gotham exec Drew Reed found the book and AMG’s Judi Farkas sold it to Manhattan Project. Brown has found some of his biggest successes with plays and books, such as “Jaws,” “A Few Good Men,” “Kiss the Girls,” “Chocolat,” and the recently released “Along Came a Spider.” As was the case when he paired with Scott Rudin on “Angela’s Ashes,” Brown used his own money to buy the book.
Brown and Golden are now in Canada shooting “Framed,” a TNT adaptation of the Lynda LaPlante BBC miniseries. The TNT version, starring Rob Lowe and Sam Neill, is directed by Dan Petrie Jr., with Brown, Golden and Tom Mangan exec producing.