Amber, Tesco pact on ‘Martin Misunderstood’

British supermarket chain will have exclusive DVD rights

Amber Entertainment and British supermarket chain Tesco have inked with bestselling crime novelist Karin Slaughter to produce dark comedy “Martin Misunderstood,” a direct-to-DVD feature that will be sold exclusively first at the retailer.

It’s the third Amber-Tesco pact following deals for films based on characters created by Jackie Collins and Judy Blume, under which Tesco gets a three-month exclusive window to sell the DVDs.

The first project, “Paris Connections,” revolves around the adventures of Collins’ journalist character Madison Castelli and goes on sale at Tesco in September. Blume’s “Tiger Eyes” begins shooting this fall in New Mexico.

Amber plans to start shooting “Martin Misunderstood” next spring in Atlanta. Story centers on crime fiction obsessive Martin Reed, who’s resigned to the world in which he lives: The school bullies now pick on him in the workplace, women spurn him and his arch enemy is now his supervisor. When two co-workers are murdered, the overwhelming evidence points to Martin.

“Martin Misunderstood” was a bestseller in the U.K. and Germany. The audio version distributed in the U.S., narrated by Wayne Knight, was a 2009 Audie Award winner.

Amber was formed last year by former New Line execs Mark Ordesky, Jane Fleming and Ileen Maisel along with British documentarian and TV producer Lawrence Elman.

It recently announced plans for a remake of “South Pacific,” produced with the holders of the Rodgers & Hammerstein rights.

Amber has also snagged feature rights for Rebecca Stead’s sci-fier “When You Reach Me” and is working on a feature based on Collins’ Lucky Santangelo character in “Vendetta — Lucky’s Revenge.”

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