Studio acquires rights to Kinney book 'Fish'

DreamWorks has acquired screen rights to the book “The Big One: An Island, an Obsession and the Furious Pursuit of a Great Fish” for mid- against high-six figures.

Tome, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Kinney, will be published next month by Grove/Atlantic.

Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci will produce through their first-look deal with the studio. They are looking for a scribe to adapt it.

The book chronicles the annual Striped Bass and Bluefish Tournament Derby. Held on Martha’s Vineyard, it’s the most celebrated fishing tournament on the East Coast and pays a $30,000 grand prize. Kinney observed overly competitive 9-year-olds, cheating scandals and heated rivalries between neighbors.

Book was bought preemptively by DreamWorks co-prexy Holly Bario, a Martha’s Vineyard native. Kurtzman and Orci, who just scripted the big-scale “Star Trek” and, with Ehren Kruger, wrote “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” sparked more to the characters than the fishing.

“We’ve been looking for a way to tell a pure character story,” Orci said. “The people of the Vineyard are like a giant extended family, until this odd period of time when they turn against one another in competition. It’s funny and heartbreaking.”

Kurtzman and Orci are also producing the David Ayer-scripted “Deep Sea Cowboys” at DreamWorks, and with Jerry Weintraub, they’re producing the Paul Attanasio-scripted “Matt Helm” at Paramount. They are exec producers of “Cowboys and Aliens,” which they are scripting with “Lost” exec producer Damon Lindelof.

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