Shotgun Lovesongs has been acquired by Fox Searchlight Pictures, Deadline reported on Wednesday, March 13.
The novel is from first-time author Nickolas Butler and will be scripted by Brad Desch, who penned the highly acclaimed but unproduced screenplay Fathers and Daughters.
According to Publishers Weekly, the book’s initial sale was for “high six-figures” to St. Martin’s Press/Thomas Dunne, which was particularly noteworthy given the tale went for top dollar without a high concept plot.
Shotgun Lovesongs centers on the friendship of four men in their thirties, who live close to one another within the Wisconsin town where they grew up.
Citing the official pitch, PW added that the men “are just now coming into their own (or not) as husbands and fathers” with each hoping to find “real purchase in the world.”
Sounds like there is potential for some comedy and drama, but not much has been revealed about the novel beyond this basic premise.
PW did cite a compelling reference to recent musical breakout and Grammy winners Bon Iver — 2012’s Best New Artist. According to the report, the band’s front-man Justin Vernon attended the same Wisconsin high school as Butler.
The title of the book is a reference to one of the four character’s — Leland Sutton — and his breakout album.
Of the connection, Butler’s representation Rob McQuilkin told PW, “No question that Justin Vernon … served as the starting inspiration for Leland’s character, but the gap between fiction and reality is wide, with as many differences between the two as similarities.”
(In case you haven’t heard Bon Iver yet, check out the official video for “Holocene” below.)
Wednesday’s announcement is obviously good news for first-time authors and the literary community in general, which often finds itself fighting against the stigma of celebrities who get book deals just because of their notoriety.
The announcement also follows on the heels of Marcus Sakey’s Brilliance landing at Legendary Pictures. That book will be among the first Thomas and Mercer / Amazon originals to acquire a motion picture deal.
Are you looking forward to Shotgun Lovesongs?