The Ink Factory options The Return Man by V.M. Zito

Film option deal news from Hodder & Stoughton:

“Dystopian thriller The Return Man, by V.M. Zito, has been optioned by The Ink Factory, in a deal negotiated between Jason Bartholomew, Rights Director at Hodder Headline, and Ink producer Rhodri Thomas, formerly VP, production and development of The Weinstein Company.

Francine Toon, editorial assistant at Hodder & Stoughton, bought world and film rights after discovering the self-published novel through the author’s website, where it had been gathering a slew of followers.  The minute the book deal was announced, the phones started ringing from interested film companies. One of those calls was from co-founder of The Ink Factory, Simon Cornwell, who pre-emptively acquired the book.

The Resurrection outbreak has torn the USA in two. The east remains a safe haven, but with a society at breaking point. The west has become a ravaged wilderness. They call it the Evacuated States.

It is here that Henry Marco makes his living. Hired by grieving relatives, he tracks down the infected and delivers peace.

Now Homeland Security wants Marco for a mission unlike any other. He must return to California, where the apocalypse began. Where a secret is hidden. And where his own tragic past waits to punish him again.

But in the wastelands of America, you never know who – or what – is watching you . . .

Founded by Simon Cornwell and his screenwriter brother, Stephen (who, along with writing partner Oliver Butcher wrote the recent Liam Neeson hit, Unknown), The Ink Factory is building a slate of film and television projects that exploits their unique connection to Butcher/Cornwell work and novels written by their father, John le Carré. Their first films, to go in early 2012, will be an Anton Corbijn-directed film of the le Carré novel A Most Wanted Man, and Butcher and Cornwell’s Message from the King, directed by James McTeigue.

Said The Ink Factory’s Rhodri Thomas, ‘This is a book full of visceral excitement and genuine terror, but it was the brilliant characterisation, intelligence and emotional quality that really drew us to it. V. M. Zito is a special talent and we’re proud to be bringing his debut novel to the screen.’

V.M. Zito, author of the novel, said ‘I’m thrilled. The Ink Factory is a fantastically talented group. I’ve loved their past creative work as individual filmmakers and writers, and now it’s so exciting and humbling to have the opportunity to be a part of their success moving forward.’

The Return Man will be published in paperback by Hodder in March 2012.”