Worst Case Scenario: film rights to T.J. Newman’s latest thriller novel going up for auction

The film rights to Worst Case Scenario, the latest novel from Falling and Drowning author T.J. Newman, will soon be up for auction

Author T.J. Newman

T.J. 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 her debut novel Falling. That action thriller became a bestseller and was followed by Drowning: The Rescue of Flight 1421, which also became a bestseller. Film adaptations of both Falling and Drowning: The Rescue of Flight 1421 are already in the works – and now Deadline reports that the film rights to Newman’s third novel, Worst Case Scenario, are about to go up for auction.

Newman couldn’t get a lot of people interested in Falling at first. She was rejected by more than forty different agents. But then Shane Salerno and The Story Factory signed her, and her luck turned around in a major way. She landed a seven-figure deal with Avid Reader / Simon & Schuster, another seven figures for deals in thirty other countries… and then the film rights went to Universal Pictures and Working Title for $1.5 million. 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 and got Paul Greengrass signed on to write, direct, and produce the film adaptation. Newman is writing the screenplay for the Falling adaptation with Salerno.

Falling told the story of a pilot who learns that his family has been kidnapped, and the only way they’ll be released is if he crashes the plane he’s flying, which has 143 people on board. Drowning: The Rescue of Flight 1421 is about a group of people who are trapped on a plane that has crashed into the ocean and now sits on an undersea cliff 200 feet below the surface. The action in Worst Case Scenario also begins with a plane crash – but, as Deadline describes it, “the book veers into tent pole territory that might draw comparisons to Independence Day or War of the Worlds meets Chernobyl. The action surrounds mankind preventing an extinction-level disaster.

Here’s how that happens: When a pilot suffers a widow-maker heart attack at 35,000 feet, a commercial airliner crashes into a nuclear power plant. Only the efforts of the residents of a small mid-west town will prevent the worse case scenario.

While Newman’s first two novels were published by Simon & Schuster, she has moved over to Little Brown for Worst Case Scenario (signing another multi-million mega deal in the process). The novel will be reaching store shelves on August 13th, and chances are that a film adaptation will be set up at a major studio well before then.

Have you read Falling and/or Drowning: The Rescue of Flight 1421? How does Worst Case Scenario sound to you? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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.