EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures has acquired The Testing, a novel by Joelle Charbonneau. Deal got made last night, with no producer attached, and it was Peter Kang’s first acquisition since moving to the studio from Fox. The book will be published this week and already has been named a #1 Indie Next 2013 Summer YA Pick and one of the Top 10 Young Adult Books for Summer by USA Today. Foreign publishing rights have already been sold in the UK, France, Israel, Korea, The Netherlands, Turkey, and Germany. The logline: In the rebuilding of the United States after natural disasters and biological war, the best and brightest high school graduates are put through a series of tests, both physical and mental, to determine whether they have what it takes to become the leaders of future generations.The tale focuses on 16-year-old Malencia Vale, and her hometown is excited because she might be chosen for The Testing, a United Commonwealth program that seeks out possible leaders of the slowly revitalizing postwar civilization. When she is chosen, her father finally tells her about his own nightmarish half-memories of The Testing. Armed with his dire warnings, she bravely heads off to Tosu City, far away from friends and family, where danger, romance and sheer terror awaits. Hey, this sounds like it’s got elements of The Hunger Games (which Paramount let go of) and Ender’s Game. Hollywood is running out of franchises, and this certainly seems to have that youth demographic potential. Deal was brokered by Hotchkiss And Associates’ Sean Daily with Stacia Decker at the Donald Maass Literary Agency.
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