Netflix is nearing a deal for rights to “Hummingbird Salamander” and plans to tap Sugar23 to produce the picture, Variety has learned.
The book is the latest from Jeff VanderMeer, the best-selling author of the “Southern Reach” trilogy and one of the foremost sci-fi writers working today. The film will be produced by Michael Sugar and Ashley Zalta at Sugar 23 along with Anonymous Content.
“Hummingbird Salamander” is “set ten seconds into the future” and deals with “bioterrorism, ecoterrorism, and climate change.” In an interview with the Verge, VanderMeer said the book “is a taut thriller set in the Pacific Northwest about a simple act of turning a key in the door of a storage unit, and changing someone’s life forever.”
Hollywood has shown in an interest in VanderMeer’s work before. His book “Annihilation,” the first installment in the “Southern Reach” trilogy, is being made into a film with Natalie Portman and Oscar Isaac. Paramount is backing that film. The studio also acquired the rights to VanderMeer’s novel “Borne” with Scott Rudin and Eli Bush producing the picture.
Sugar’s credits include “Spotlight,” “Collateral Beauty,” and “The Knick.” Sugar 23 is his newly launched production shingle. The company has a longterm first look deal at Anonymous Content where Sugar was a manager.
VanderMeer will also executive produce the project. He is repped by Joe Veltre at The Gersh Agency, and by the Cooke McDermid Agency
A spokeswoman for Netflix declined to comment.