Film rights to the debut novel of German writer Melanie Raabe (born in what was previously known as East Germany to a Beninese father – Benin being the West African country), titled “The Trap,” have been acquired by TriStar Pictures (a division of Sony Pictures) – a novel which hasn’t even been published in the USA yet (it’s available in Germany, with a 2016 English language translation publication date set for the USA, via publishing house Grand Central).
“We heard about ‘The Trap’ at the 2014 Frankfurt Book Fair and were instantly intrigued by its premise of the central character writing a novel to catch her sister’s killer,” said Michael Heyward of Text Publishing in Australia, to The Hollywood Reporter. “We bought world English rights from Random House in Germany but had to wait for Imogen Taylor’s superb translation to understand just what an unexpected and suspenseful novel Melanie has crafted. We put the manuscript of ‘The Trap’ on the market just ahead of the London Book Fair, and the competition for rights instantly exploded.”
Apparently, the novel was of great interest to Hollywood producers, at last month’s London Book Fair. So what’s its story?
Per THR: ‘The Trap’ focuses on Linda Conrads, a best-selling novelist who is haunted by a terrible event in her past — the day she discovered the blood-soaked body of her sister Anna and caught a glimpse of the killer’s face. Years later, Linda is still traumatized by the unsolved crime and has not left her home in 11 years. One day, while watching television, she sees the killer’s face again – it belongs to the high-profile journalist Victor Lenzen. She decides to set a trap to catch Victor – by writing a thriller based story on the death of her sister and promote the book through one interview, with Victor.
The book also sparked an intense bidding war, and sold in multiple territories and languages worldwide. Given all the excitement around it, I certainly can’t wait for its USA publication, so that I can read it myself. I’m especially fond of thrillers, which is what this reads like.
Producer Elizabeth Cantillon (the upcoming Will Smith NFL film “Concussion”) and Josh Bratman have teamed up to produce for Sony Pictures.
No ETA yet.
Being a first-timer, I unfortunately couldn’t find very much on Melanie Raabe online. But with today’s announcement, as well as the popularity of her debut novel, which is on its way to becoming a Hollywood studio movie, I’m sure she won’t be a “mystery” for much longer. I did find her on Twitter – https://twitter.com/melraabe – if you want to follow.
This is probably the dream of many writers; for a newbie writer, especially, to have your very first published novel draw this much interest and be picked up by a major Hollywood studio for adaptation. What a coup! Good for her!
By the way, the original (non-English) title of the novel is “Die Falle.”