CBS Films and Simon & Schuster/Atria Books -- both divisions of CBS Corporation -- have reached film and publishing agreements with best-selling author Vince Flynn for upcoming projects, it was jointly announced by Amy Baer, President & CEO of CBS Films, and Carolyn Reidy, President & CEO of Simon & Schuster.
Flynn is the author of nine best-selling novels, eight of which feature the popular character, counter-terrorism operative Mitch Rapp. There are over 10 million copies of Flynn's books in print in the U.S., and with his most recent book, Protect and Defend, he joined the ranks of those select few authors who can immediately claim the Number One spot on hardcover bestseller lists in their first week on sale.
CBS Films has optioned the rights for Flynn's Mitch Rapp character with the intention of creating a character-based, action-thriller movie franchise. Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who produced two of last summer's hits -- "Transformers" and Stephen King's "1408" -- and Nick Wechsler ("We Own The Night") are in negotiations to produce the films.
Flynn's new agreement with Atria and Simon & Schuster is a four book global publishing deal for all world rights, including translation and audio. The worldwide simultaneous English language publication of the first book in the agreement by Atria and Simon & Schuster companies in the U.K., Canada and Australia will take place in 2010. Flynn will be published under the direction of Atria Executive Vice President and Publisher Judith Curr, and Vice President and Executive Editorial Director Emily Bestler, who made the acquisition.
"We have always passionately believed in Vince Flynn's star potential as a bestselling author, and equally that his books deserved the even wider audience and exposure that can be reached through feature films," said Reidy. "That this comes about through our relationship with CBS Films is even more exciting for us, and we look forward to seeing Mitch Rapp on the screen, and many more Simon & Schuster properties developed in conjunction with CBS."
"One of my first goals for CBS Films was to find a character-based movie franchise," said Baer. "With the Mitch Rapp series, Vince Flynn has created a relatable, modern, post-9/11 hero for the action/thriller genre. It is an amazing collection of creative material that offers tremendous potential for a smart, energizing new film franchise with appeal to a wide range of movie-going audiences. The publishing world has always provided abundant source material for motion pictures, and we're fortunate that our corporate cousins at Simon & Schuster attract and nurture some of the world's best literary assets."
"Vince Flynn's career has been steadily on the rise since he self-published his first book, Term Limits, and together we've watched his popularity grow with every successive publication," said Curr. "Now readers and moviegoers alike can savor more of the thrilling insider insight and verisimilitude that has made him a favorite of average citizens and the national security operatives who protect us."
"I couldn't be happier with this deal," said Flynn. "Signing up for four more books, keeping the movie in the family with CBS Films and getting Lorenzo and Nick to sign on as producers … it's the outcome I'd always hoped for. Loyalty is a big thing to me. Simon & Schuster, Atria and Pocket Books have stood by me for 10 years and done a magnificent job publishing my novels. Lorenzo and Nick have been trying to bring Mitch Rapp to the big screen since 2004, so there is a level of commitment on their part that is very comforting to me. They understand Mitch Rapp, as does Amy Baer and her team. It is going to be a lot of fun watching CBS Films hit this thing out of the park."
"Vince has created an unbelievably unique and dynamic character in Mitch Rapp," said di Bonaventura. "Nick and I can't wait to bring him to the screen and we feel lucky to be doing this in partnership with CBS."
Sloan Harris and Ron Bernstein of ICM represented Flynn for the publishing and film agreements.