Paramount Players’ upcoming adaptation of the New York Times bestselling novel “Razorblade Tears” has found its screenwriter in Sherman Payne.
Payne, best known for the HBO Max original “Charm City Kings,” will adapt S.A. Cosby’s acclaimed novel for the studio division. The book is described as a Southern noir about two men who team up to seek vengeance for their murdered sons in the face of intolerance and prejudice in the rural South, finding redemption along the way.
Payne’s credits include “Shameless” and MTV’s series adaptation of the iconic “Scream” franchise. Amazon Studios is in post-production on his original script “Black as Night,” about a young woman who becomes an unwitting vampire slayer in modern day New Orleans. Payne is repped by APA, Management 360, and McKuin Frankel Whitehead, LLP.
“Razorblade Tears” was published last month by Flatiron Books. Paramount Players won the rights in a competitive situation, led by unit president Jeremy Kramer and senior vice president Clarence Hammond, who will oversee for the studio.
Jerry Bruckheimer and Chad Oman are producing. Melissa Reid brought the book in for Jerry Bruckheimer Films.
Cosby is also the author of the bestselling “Blacktop Wasteland,” the No. 1 mystery and thriller title on Amazon in 2020. It was also a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice; and a Goodreads Choice Awards Semifinalist. His short story “The Grass Beneath My Feet” won the Anthony Award for Best Short Story in 2019.
“Blacktop Wasteland “was optioned by PictureStart, with Oscar-nominated screenwriter Virgil Williams (“Mudbound”) adapting.