Erik Feig’s Picturestart has acquired film and television rights to “Along for the Ride,” a YA sensation published on the digital platform Wattpad.
Written by Rachel Meinke, the book follows a young athlete who is forced to tour the U.S. with her pop star brother. She meets an ultra-famous musician on the same tour, and the two embark on a relationship.
Wattpad is a hub for user-generated fiction, largely genre fare, on which Meinke has over 300 million views on a collection of 20 stories. “Along for the Ride” has 26.3 million reads alone.
Jessica Switch and Lucy Putnam will produce for his Picturestart, and Aron Levitz, Eric Lehrman and Lindsey Ramey will produce for Wattpad. The book is being adapted for the screen by Tate Hanyok.
Former Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-head Feig launched his label in May, and has a track record in the YA space with lasting cultural hits like the “I Know What You Did Last Summer” franchise and the “Step Up” dance films. Wattpad was the platform responsible for launching another hit author, Anna Todd, and her One Direction-inspired romance “After.” Produced independently, Aviron Pictures distributed the indie in the U.S. this year, which has earned a solid $69 million worldwide on a $14 million budget.
“‘Along for the Ride’ is a phenomenon, a story with millions of reads and fans all over the world,” said Levitz, head of Wattpad Studios. “Rachel’s story gives new life to the classic romance formula, bringing together a strong, empowered young woman, new media stardom, and the difficult choices that define first-love. With Erik Feig’s unmatched track record of YA hits, Picturestart is the perfect partner to bring this beloved story to screens all over the world.”
Feig added that “Rachel’s story hooked us at once and we devoured the book immediately. It’s funny, smart, unexpected, and a great roller coaster of emotions.”