Just one week after ankling his job as VP of Michael Besman’s Ballyhoo Films and striking out on his own, Daniel Bobker has set up his eponymous banner’s first feature project at MGM. The studio has optioned Annette Curtis Klause’s upcoming horror thriller “Blood and Chocolate” for Bobker to produce.
MGM VP of development Elizabeth Carroll is credited with championing the book after Bobker brought it to her a week ago. Soon thereafter, MGM president Michael Nathanson sealed the deal for the project, which could become MGM’s entry into the teen horror market recently revived by Miramax’s “Scream.”
Klause’s book is a supernatural tale depicting a hot-blooded teenage werewolf who is grieving for her father and bored with her lycanthrope pack mates. When she falls for a human “meat-boy” (human), an underworld Romeo and Juliet tale unfolds amid a complex plot, filled with pack and town politics, teenage cravings, intrigue, blood lust and grotesque creatures.
Bobker — who previously held editorial posts at Farrar, Straus & Giroux, HarperCollins and Morrow before seguing to the film industry — was able to capitalize on contacts in the publishing world to snatch the rights to Klause’s third young adult novel. The book, which is expected to be the Maryland librarian’s break-out title, will be released in September by Bantam Doubleday Dell.
Klause has published two previous books, “The Silver Kiss” and “Alien Secrets.” Dellacorte Press is scheduled to release “Blood and Chocolate” in September.
MGM is expected to send the book out to writers within the next couple of weeks.
Bobker says he wasn’t expecting to set anything up so soon after hanging his shingle, but he says he chanced upon what is now his calling card in the industry.
“I love this project because it signals the type of hip, edgy, sexy films I want to make,” he said.
Bobker ran Besman’s Sony-based Ballyhoo for nearly two years. Among the projects he brought into the company was John Case’s current bestselling novel, “The Genesis Code,” for Universal.
After working as an editor at Morrow, Bobker made the leap to the film industry in 1994, working as a development exec in New York for Brillstein Grey and Scott Rudin Prods. before moving to L.A. to join Ballyhoo.
Bobker was repped on his deal by attorney Deborah Klein of Bloom, Hergott, Cook, Diemer & Klein. Klause’s deal was brokered by her Gotham agent Eva Pryor, of McIntosh and Otis Inc.