The exclusive deal will see Wilbur Smith’s 33rd novel brought to the screen in time to celebrate his 50th anniversary as a novelist in 2014.
Wilbur Smith, one of the world's most consistently bestselling authors, is published in over twenty-six languages and has been a No. 1 bestseller for many years in the UK. His estimated global sales are now over 120 million copies.
Bestselling novel, ‘Those in Peril’, with central themes of piracy, terrorism and ransom, will see the first film depiction of action-hero lead character, Hector Cross, an ex-SAS soldier. With the leading character capturing the zeitgeist of a generation, Wilbur Smith said,“I needed a character who was more concerned with the execution of moral justice than with upholding the precise letter of the law. Thus I conceived of Hector.”
“Reelart is delighted to be part of what we regard as The Wilbur Smith Redux - bringing Wilbur Smith to a new generation. As a publishing phenomenon for the last five decades, we believe there is a real opportunity to put the works of Wilbur Smith in front of a new audience,” said Daniel O’Toole, managing director of Reelart.
Development of the project has already begun with ‘A-listers’ placed on the wish list for the lead character Hector Cross. Matt O’Toole, producer said,“We are looking forward to the work that lies ahead of us and firmly believe that the character of Hector Cross has the potential to be a 21st century equivalent to Fleming’s Bond, Ludlums’s Bourne or Clancy’s Jack Ryan. A potential we intend to realise.”
The film deal will also benefit from the planned raised exposure for the Wilbur Smith brand by publishers Pan Macmillan. Brian O’Callaghan, director and head of business affairs at Reelart said,“Our deal negotiations were focused on bringing Wilbur Smith’s works to a modern audience via both established and new media formats.”