Toronto-based eOne has inked a partnership with Wattpad to source fan fiction submitted to the service, with an eye toward developing those into original TV, feature film and virtual-reality projects. Under the pact, Wattpad will identify and curate material most promising for eOne to turn into global properties.
Wattpad, also based in Toronto, currently has more than 60 million monthly users and over 2.5 million monthly writers. Last year it formed Wattpad Studios, dedicated to harvesting stories on the platform via partnerships with entertainment companies, and hired Eric Lehrman, previously VP of original scripted programming at USA Network, as head of content development.
“The powerful data and insights from Wattpad will allow us to tap into the new generation of authors and gives us early access to captivating proven stories and characters,” Jocelyn Hamilton, president of eOne Television Canada, said in a statement.
Wattpad Studios has similar development deals with Universal Cable Productions and Turner. Fullscreen worked with Wattpad Studios for “FANtasies,” a 10-episode original series with fan-fiction narratives reenacted by YouTube stars including Andrea Russett, Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart, Mamrie Hart, and Smosh’s Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox.
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Last week, Mashable announced it will adapt young-adult superhero story “No Capes” by Wattpad author Elizabeth A. Seibert as an original series directed by Wise Entertainment’s Katie Elmore Mota (Hulu’s “East Los High”).
Perhaps Wattpad’s biggest breakout star has been Texas native Anna Todd, whose One Direction-inspired YA romance story “After” led to a best-selling book series published by Simon & Schuster and a movie deal with Paramount Pictures.