Lionsgate is getting “Addicted.”
The indie studio has bought film rights to the novel from hard-edged erotica writer Zane, one of the country’s top African-American women authors, in hopes of replicating the B.O. success it’s enjoyed with the Tyler Perry pics.
Zane (the bestselling author writes under the one-name pseudonym) and Suzanne de Passe intend to produce at least six films a year under their new production venture, de Passe/Zane Entertainment.
“Addicted,” which like many of Zane’s other eight books takes an unflinching look at female sexuality, revolves around a successful black woman who has a series of affairs, threatening her marriage and motherhood.
Zane has dominated the Essence magazine bestseller list since self-publishing her first book in 2000. She joins Toni Morrison and Terry McMillan as one of only three African-American women to make the New York Times bestseller print list this century.
“I know from communication with my fans that when women liberate themselves sexually, it improves all other aspects of their lives, so getting my first film made is a personal and political triumph for me,” Zane said.
Over the past three decades, de Passe has produced miniseries, telepics and TV series, as well as various kudofests. She exec produced “Lonesome Dove” and “The Jacksons: An American Dream.” She also co-wrote the script for feature “Lady Sings the Blues.”
Lionsgate prexy of production Michael Paseornek said Zane is a “cultural icon,” and he hopes “Addicted” is “just the beginning of a long and productive partnership.”
Zane, teaming with One Voice Communications, also is developing a stage version of “Addicted” that is set to preem this fall and tour 55 cities in 36 weeks.
The author continues at the helm of Strebor Books Intl., which she founded after publishers told her to tone down the content of her books. Last fall, Simon & Schuster bought Strebor for an undisclosed sum and set it up as an imprint of Atria Books.
Zane used Strebor to self-publish her first three books, selling more than 250,000 copies through word of mouth. She has sold more than 6 million books overall.
Next years, Zane plans to launch a Christian fiction line, as well as a youth line.