In First Auction Since WGA Strike End, Sony Lands ‘It’s Over;’ ‘M3GAN’s Akela Cooper Scripting Jack Follman Horror Short Story

EXCLUSIVE: The first splashy material sale coming after the end of the writer’s strike has an appropriate title.

Sony Pictures won a spirited weekend bidding battle for the Jack Follman short story It’s Over. The deal landed in the mid- to high-six-figure range, and it comes with Akela Cooper set to write the script. Her latest scripted release is the hit The Nun II, and she has made a habit of scripting genre hits from M3GAN to Malignant and Hell Fest. She’s scripted the sequel M3GAN 2.0, and in TV is co-executive producer of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

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The film will be produced by Roy Lee‘s Vertigo Entertainment alongside Scott Glassgold‘s Ground Control. Verve held the auction with the bidders over the weekend.  

The 29-page unpublished short story hit the marketplace Wednesday, the first day writers were back in business. In what might be a good sign if the rumors are true that many writers spent downtime writing specs, the town responded quickly. Without giving away the reveals, It’s Over takes the painful breakup of a longtime couple and drives it right into the horror lane, blending humor and social commentary, as Cooper did in M3GAN.

For producers Lee and Glassgold, this marks their second recent deal after landing Victor Sweeter’s Occupant at New Line Cinema, with Zach Cregger also producing. Lee was a producer of Stephen King’s It, The Ring and most recently Cregger’s Barbarian.

Glassgold has the 2024 genre release HorrorScope with Sony.

Glassgold’s Ground Control and Verve created a pre-strike cottage industry of notching option deals for unpublished short stories, many with star attachments. This is their ninth recent short story deal, with other recent sales including Aaron Jayh’s The Dwelling to Amazon with Michael B Jordan starring and producing, and I Am Not Alone to Netflix with Jessica Chastain to star and Misha Green to write and direct with Glassgold producing alongside Simon Kinberg and Craig Flores. They also set We Used to Live Here to Netflix with Blake Lively to star, Caretaker to Universal with Sydney Sweeney to star, I Think My Mother-In-Law Is Trying to Kill Me to Sony 3000 and Wilderness Reform to Paramount.

Cooper is represented by CAA, Rise Management and attorney Gregg Gellman. Follman is represented by Verve and Ground Control.  

Verve and Ground Control will be representing the upcoming novel publishing rights for It’s Over. SPE exec Maia Eyre will oversee the project for the studio.

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