In today’s film news roundup, Nik Dodani makes a script deal, Sony shifts dates for “Miss Bala” and “Escape Room” and Jake Manley books two roles.


Nik Dodani, who stars on “Murphy Brown” and “Atypical,” will write the script for a movie version of “Blue Boy,” based on Rakesh Satyal’s coming of age story, Variety has learned exclusively.

The Lambda Literary Award-winning novel follows the transformation of Kiran Sharma, a boisterous 12-year-old boy from Cincinnati, as he attempts to go from a social outcast to local god through his school’s annual talent show. Taking place against the backdrop of the early ‘90s, Satyal’s debut novel tackles adolescence, family drama, and grade school politics from the perspective of an Indian-American pre-teen.

“Kiran Sharma is a mischievous little git who thinks he’s the center of his own ridiculous universe. I’ve never related to a character more,” says Dodani, who will work closely with Satyal on the project.

Satyal said, “From the moment I spoke with Nik, I was impressed by his intelligence and warmth and his inspired vision for Kiran. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect person to bring the character to life in this way.”

“Blue Boy,” published in 2009, won the Prose/Poetry Award from the Association of Asian American Studies along with the Lambda Literary accolade.

Dodani is repped by Authentic Management, Buchwald, and Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman. Satyal serves as Senior Editor at Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster and is repped by WME and Massie McQuilkin.


Sony Pictures has shifted release dates for “Escape Room” and “Miss Bala,” both set to open next year.

The studio moved “Escape Room” forward to Jan. 4 from Feb. 1, which is the start of Super Bowl weekend. It also shifted “Miss Bala” back a week from Jan. 25 to Feb. 1.

“Escape Room” is a psychological horror film directed by Adam Robitel with Logan Miller, Deborah Ann Woll, Taylor Russell, Tyler Labine, Jay Ellis, and Nik Dodani starring.

“Miss Bala” is a remake of Gerardo Naranjo’s 2011 action-thriller. It’s directed by Catherine Hardwicke, from a screenplay by Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer and stars Gina Rodriguez, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Anthony Mackie and Aislinn Derbez.


Jake Manley has been cast as a young fighter pilot in Roland Emmerich’s World War II drama “Midway,” joining Mandy Moore, Woody Harrelson, Darren Criss and Dennis Quaid.

“Midway” will explore the U.S. military’s preparations for the decisive 1942 battle near the Pacific island. Lionsgate will open “Midway” on Nov. 8, 2019.

Manley will also be seen with Quaid and Betty Gilpin in Sony’s upcoming drama “A Dog’s Journey,” portraying a bad boy who becomes involved with the lead character. Manley has just finished work on his own series for Netflix, “The Order,” which will be coming soon to the streaming service.

Manley is repped by ICM, Ambition Talent and Luber Roklin Entertainment.