Falls' underwater adventure generating buzz

The Gotham Group has optioned “Dark Life,” an underwater adventure tome by tyro scribe Kat Falls.

Book will be published in May by Scholastic, which won the rights and inked a two-book deal after making a preemptive bid on the manuscript. Foreign publishing rights to the book, which generated considerable buzz in the pub world pre-sale, have been sold in six languages.

“Dark Life” is set in a near-future world in which rising ocean levels and natural catastrophes have led some people to homestead on the ocean floor. Story centers on an underwater teenage boy and a surface girl who join forces to uncover a government conspiracy.

Gotham’s Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Lee Stollman will produce. The pair are in the process of attaching a helmer before taking the package out to studios. Gregory Little, who brought the novel into the company, will shepherd the project and will also serve as a producer.

“We fell in love with the idea of an underwater Western,” said Goldsmith-Vein, who praised Falls for creating a “thoroughly original world.”

In addition to being a production company, Gotham continues to gain a foothold in the arena of repping content creators. Its current roster of film and TV rights holders includes Bloomsbury/Walker U.S., Dark Horse Entertainment, Penguin Group, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins (U.S. and U.K.), Houghton Mifflin/Harcourt, SAF Comics and Com.x.

Gotham’s recent credits include “The Spiderwick Chronicles” for Paramount/Nickelodeon Movies. The company’s upcoming slate includes “Quantum Quest,” a large-format 3D CGI film based on NASA’s Cassini Mission; “Saving Juliet” at Disney; “The Maze Runner” and “The Devil You Know” at 20th Century Fox; and “Wicked” and “Stargirl” at DreamWorks.

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