Drowning: Warner Bros. wins bidding war over film rights to T.J. Newman thriller novel

Warner Bros. beat competition like Jerry Bruckheimer and Damien Chazelle in a bidding war over T.J. Newman’s thriller novel Drowning

Last Updated on April 29, 2024

Last week, we heard that author T.J. Newman is writing the screenplay for the film adaptation of her debut novel Falling (pick up a copy HERE), a project which is set up at Universal Pictures. Now Deadline reports that Warner Bros. has come out the winner of an intense bidding war over the film rights to Newman’s second novel, Drowning.

Newman was working as a flight attendant on the Virgin Airlines redeye flight from Los Angeles to New York when she had the idea for Falling, which tells the story of an airplane pilot whose family has been kidnapped – and the kidnapper says his family will only be released if he crashes a plane with 143 passengers on board. Her second novel, which has the full title Drowning: The Rescue of Flight 1421, tells the following story: A plane crashes in the Pacific Ocean six minutes after takeoff and is flooded after an explosion during evacuation. A dozen survivors sink in a sealed part of the aircraft as it perches precariously on an undersea cliff 200 feet below the surface. Among them is an engineer and his 11-year-old daughter. His estranged wife and the girl’s mother is part of the elite rescue team that races to save the passengers before their air runs out.

The auction for the Drowning film rights caught the attention of major Hollywood players like Steven Spielberg, Alfonso Cuaron, Damien Chazelle, Nicole Kidman, the Russo Brothers, M. Night Shyamalan, Jerry Bruckheimer, Peter Chernin, and 21 Laps. There were five seven-figure bids on the table as the auction neared its conclusion. Those bids were from Apple with Jerry Bruckheimer, Paramount with Damien Chazelle, Legendary, Universal Television, and Warner Bros. With the winning bid, Warner Bros. paid $1.5 million against $3 million.

The Drowning film will be produced by Shane Salerno and The Story Factory. Newman will serve as an executive producer.

If you want to read the book Hollywood went crazy over, copies of Drowning can be pre-ordered at THIS LINK, but it won’t be reaching store shelves until May 30th.

Does Drowning sound interesting to you, and have you read Falling? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Drowning T.J. Newman

Source: Deadline

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of JoBlo.com, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.