The bid by Imperative, formed in 2014 by Tim Kring (“Heroes”) and Bradley Thomas, was one of the highest prices paid for movie rights in recent memory.
Rival bids were made by Warner Bros. with Brett Ratner, Netflix with Scott Stuber, Sony with Amy Pascal and George Clooney, and Alex Garcia and Laura Walker’s AG Capital. Paramount’s package included J.J. Abrams as director and Leonardo DiCaprio as star, sources said.
The book will be published in the fall by Doubleday/Penguin Random House.
CAA brokered the deal for “Killers,” a murder mystery set in 1920s Oklahoma, where Osage Indians were granted revenue rights to oil discovered under their lands, leading to a string of murders. The newly created Bureau of Investigation was able to solve the murders — a key development in the FBI’s credibility.
Grann is best known for writing “Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon,” his 2009 book about British explorer Percy Fawcett who made several attempts to find an ancient lost city in the Amazon and disappeared in 1925. A film version starring Charlie Hunnam with James Grey directing is in post-production at Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment.
Several of Grann’s other books are in development, including “The Old Man and the Gun” about an elderly bank robber and “Murder Foretold,” which is being developed by Paramount and FilmRites with Chris Terrio writing and Alfonso Gomez-Rejon directing.
The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.