The crime drama is based on an upcoming book by New Zealander Ben Sanders; Andrew Sodroski will write the script.
Warner Bros. has acquired American Blood, an upcoming crime novel by Ben Sanders, with Bradley Cooper attached to star and produce. At least one other studio had bid on the project, and several TV companies had also expressed interest.
The story follows Marshall Grade, an NYPD officer turned mob informant, who, while living in the witness protection program in New Mexico, is pulled into a dangerous investigation involving a missing woman.
Andrew Sodroski is attached to adapt the script. John Lesher and Adam Kassan will produce while Chantal Nong is overseeing for the studio. Cooper will produce through his 22 & Indiana banner, while Brendan Deneen of Macmillan Entertainment and Pouya Shabazian of New Leaf Literary & Media will also produce.
Sanders, from New Zealand, published his first book, The Fallen, at age 20. The book was a bestseller in his native country, and he went on to write two others – By Any Means and Only the Dead [also bestsellers]. Now 24 years old, Sanders will make his American debut with American Blood, which is slated for fall 2015 via MacMillan. American Blood is likely the first in a series of books, which means there’s franchise potential for the films.
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Congratulations to our own Ben Sanders for this exciting development in his career. To be 24 years old with a New York City book deal and now a film deal, well it must be a dream come true, right? I mean, it’s what writers really fantasize about, isn’t it? How lucky do you have to be to actually get the contracts and the movie deals? And at an age where we don’t even have to airbrush the author’s photo? Pretty lucky? After all, it’s like winning the lottery, isn’t it? Yeah.
But, more accurately, no. The fact is, Ben deserves all this simply because he works damn hard at his craft, and has for many years. He’s committed to it and to always striving to do better. Yes, he’s talented, but more importantly, he’s skilled. Even while going to school full time, he kept writing (result: 2 bestsellers); while holding down a full-time job, he kept writing (result: another bestseller). All the while, he was always striving to sharpen his skills, always working hard to raise his game.
So, no, it’s not like winning the lottery, where all you need is some purely dumb luck to pick the right numbers. This takes more than luck, this requires an absolute commitment to your craft. All those things we writers are dreaming of, publishing contracts and movie deals, are possible, they’re out there still. But the commitment, that’s what the author brings to the table. And that, well that’s just essential.