Heather Rose’s novel Bruny and Nicole Haddow’s book Smashed Avocado: How I Cracked the Property Market and You Can Too have each been optioned by high-profile producers.
Film Art Media’s Sue Maslin and Charlotte Seymour bought the rights to Bruny, which is set in a near-future in a place where the inhabitants are inoculated against change and a bridge to connect Bruny Island to mainland Tasmania is blown up by terrorists.
Astrid Coleman, a UN troubleshooter, is called home to Tasmania to manage the fallout and finds herself caught between political foes, foreign interests and island families.
Good Thing Productions’ Nick Batzias, Virginia Whitwell and Charlotte Wheaton optioned the book by Haddow, a former Australian Financial Review journalist, which details her account of buying her first home and interviews with others who found diverse ways to enter the property market, including ‘rentvesting,’ flipping, Airbnb, tiny homes and buying regionally.
Both deals were first reported by Books + Publishing, which quoted Rose as saying: “I’m delighted to see Bruny in the hands of such an experienced production team.
“I love their commitment to bringing this cautionary tale to Australian and international audiences while also delivering a much-loved Tasmanian story to the screen.”
Maslin tells IF: “From the moment we started reading, we were hooked by this cautionary tale which we believe will make a powerful political thriller/drama series.
“Like The Dressmaker, this award-winning book has sold well over 40,000 copies in its first year of publication and is loved by readers – a great starting point to build an audience.
“The book is hugely prescient because it dares to hypothesise the logical consequences of Australia sleepwalking its way through globalisation and selling off our precious resources to foreign interests.
“But above all it is a gripping drama about ordinary people caught in the middle of extraordinary forces that could end a way of life.”
No director or writer is attached yet but Maslin and Seymour are in the process of securing the creative team.
Good Thing Productions’ Charlotte Wheaton tells IF she and her colleagues discovered the property at the Books at MIFF event run by Melbourne International Film Festival’s 37º South Market.
“As soon as we read the book we knew it would be a winner,” she says. “It’s a home-grown product that resonates internationally and provides a road map to home ownership in the new world of COVID-19.”
Haddow will serve as a consultant as the book is developed into short- and long-form content for networks or streaming services.