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Paramount Players to Develop ‘Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik’ as Movie (EXCLUSIVE)

Paramount is launching development of a movie version of bestselling author David Arnold’s forthcoming young adult novel “The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik,” Variety has learned exclusively.

The studio acquired the movie rights to the book, due to be published in May by Viking, and set up the project at its fledgling Paramount Players division. Ali Bell will oversee the project for the studio, which has started to seek writers.

ICM Partners and Writers House brokered the deal. Arnold’s previous works are “Kids of Appetite” and “Mosquitoland.”

“The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik” is a surrealist story about all the ways we hurt our friends without knowing it, and all the ways they stick around to save us.

The protagonist is a 16-year-old who says, “No matter how organized I get my room, my records, my books, no matter how precisely I communicate a thing, or how many arrows point to how many objects, in the end I’m floating through space in a most peculiar way.”

He gets hypnotized and sees changes: his mother has a scar on her face that wasn’t there before; his old dog, who once walked with a limp, is suddenly lithe; his best friend, a lifelong DC Comics disciple, now rotates in the Marvel universe. Everything in his world has been rewritten — except his strange fascinations.

Paramount Pictures launched Paramount Players in June, with veteran producer and executive Brian Robbins in charge. Robbins is working with Viacom’s Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, and BET operations to generate projects while the new division focuses on contemporary properties.

In October, Paramount Players acquired rights and set a Jan. 4, 2019 release date to psychological horror movie “Eli” — its first film to go in to production. It’s also attached to Taraji P. Henson to star in “What Men Want,” a remake of the Paramount comedy “What Women Want,” giving it a gender-bending twist.

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