Universal Nabs Gillian Flynn’s Short Story ‘The Grownup’ in Bidding War

In what turned into a heated bidding war over the past 24 hours, Universal has won the rights to Gillian Flynn’s short story “The Grownup,” sources tell Variety.

Michael De Luca is producing with Natalie Krinsky attached to adapt the script. Sources say while the rights have been acquired, deal points for Krinsky are still being worked out.

Story revolves around a con woman who is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when she meets an unhappy woman, whom she tries to help. The phony psychic accompanies the woman to her home, which the woman swears was haunted when she moved in with her husband, son and stepson. The con woman is charged with exorcising the evil within, and it’s soon clear she may have gotten in way over her head.

Crown Publishing Group published the story. Execs Elishia Holmes and Lucy Kitada at DeLuca Productions brought the project to De Luca.

Uni beat out Fox, TriStar and Paramount for the property. Sources say reps were asking in the seven figures for story rights as well as Krinsky’s quote but had to lower to a high-six figure range leading to Universal pouncing on the property with the highest bid.

Sources say studios were weary on the seven figure price tag since the rights were not for a full novel as well Krinsky’s quote being much lower in the past. Universal already has a good track record with female driven projects following the success of “Fifty Shades of Grey” and hopes for similar returns in this one.

Krinsky is repped by Dan Black at Greenberg Traurig.

WME  and Stephanie Rostan of Greenberg Levine Rostan Literary Agency reps Flynn and CAA reps Krinsky. Deadline Hollywood first reported the news.

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