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‘The Night Manager,’ ‘La La Land’ Producers Adapting Cold War Thriller ‘We Were Never Here’ (EXCLUSIVE)

The Ink Factory and Marc Platt Prods. are joining forces to adapt “We Were Never Here,” the highly anticipated novel from Lara Prescott based on events surrounding the publication of Boris Pasternak’s “Doctor Zhivago.”

The project sets up a high-caliber partnership between The Ink Factory, the team behind BBC and AMC series “The Night Manager” and the upcoming “The Little Drummer Girl,” and Platt, the Oscar-nominated producer of “La La Land” and “Bridge of Spies.” The partners have just sealed the deal for the book and are now assessing whether it will be a movie or series adaptation.

“We Were Never Here” is a thriller and love story set in the 1950s, during the Cold War. It centers on a CIA plan to engineer the publication of “Doctor Zhivago” in Pasternak’s home country of Russia. The authorities there had ordered the manuscript destroyed and the book banned because of themes they considered critical of the regime. Key characters include Pasternak’s mistress and muse, Olga Ivinskaya, and Irina, a young CIA recruit.

“I’m thrilled by the interest in adapting my novel,” said Prescott. “And I’m such a huge fan of The Ink Factory, Marc Platt, and Adam Seigel. I know the story is in excellent hands.”

The book is creating a buzz ahead of publication. It has been sold in 25 countries, and will be published in the fall by Knopf in the U.S. and Hutchinson in the U.K. “In its ambition, scope and execution, ‘We Were Never Here’ is a remarkable novel by any standards, and as a first novel, breathtaking,” said Stephen Cornwell, co-CEO at The Ink Factory. “The greatest spy stories are also great love stories. Lara’s wonderful book delivers on all that promise and more.”

Marc Platt Prods. president Adam Siegel added that, “while ‘We Were Never Here’ thrillingly tells the untold story behind the publication of ‘Doctor Zhivago’ – a story involving a recently declassified CIA mission and the truth behind one of the greatest and most well-known love stories of all time – at the center of Lara Prescott’s unforgettable novel is the audacious idea that a piece of art can change the world.”

APA’s Lucy Stille represents film and television rights to the book and put the deal together with The Ink Factory and Marc Platt Prods. The deal was negotiated by Stille alongside Jeff Kleinman and Jamie Chambliss at Folio Literary Management, and by Yogita Puri for The Ink Factory.

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