Kennedy/Marshall nabs ‘Sole Survivor’ rights

Turning its eye toward Oz, the Kennedy/Marshall Co. has optioned the film rights to Australian author Derek Hansen’s novel “Sole Survivor.”

Disney-based producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall paid — out of their discretionary fund — a $100,000 upfront fee against a $750,000 purchase price, with bestseller contingencies, according to sources close to the deal. Hansen also will earn $300,000 to write the screenplay.

One of Hansen’s five novels, which have been bestsellers in Australia, “Sole Survivor” is centered around the lives of two loners on the Great Barrier Island who are forced out of their stasis by the arrival of a woman who has inherited a shack on the island. While the book was published by HarperCollins in Australia, it does not yet have a publisher in the U.S. However, Hansen’s agent, Jillian Manus of Manus & Associates Literary Agency, submitted the novel to publishers on Wednesday, the day the film deal was struck.

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