Carver Films, Anonymous Content option Christian White novel ‘The Nowhere Child’
Christian White’s debut novel The Nowhere Child, a mystery about the disappearance 28 years earlier of a little girl in the US, is heading to the big screen.
Carver Films’ Anna McLeish and Sarah Shaw and US production company Anonymous Content have optioned the novel, which was published by Affirm Press on June 26.
The publisher reported sales of more than 25,000 copies in the first eight weeks, breaking the record for the fastest – selling Australian debut novel. There are deals to publish the tome in a further 15 countries.
The protagonist is Kim Leamy, a Melbourne teacher who is approached by a stranger investigating the disappearance of the girl named Sammy from her Kentucky home 28 years earlier.
He believes Kim is that girl. At first she brushes it off but questions arise when she scratches the surface of her family history in Australia. That prompts her to travel to Sammy’s hometown where dark secrets are revealed.
McLeish and Shaw will develop the project with Anonymous Content’s Luke Rivett and Steve Golin, whose credits include The Wife, Boy Erased, True Detective, 13 Reasons Why, The Revenant, Babel and Spotlight. The deal was brokered by RGM Artists’ Jennifer Naughton and Candice Thom.
The Carver partners said: “It’s a thrill to be entrusted with the screen adaptation of Christian’s incredible debut novel. It’s an enthralling, combustible tale of identity and buried secrets and we are so excited to be collaborating with Christian on this next phase.”
Until a year ago White worked at odd jobs including food-cart driver on a golf course, selling T-shirts and video editor for an adult film company while he pursued his passion for screenwriting.
He has co-written psychological horror movie Relic with writer-director Natalie Erika James for Carver Films and a US producer who is yet to be revealed.
Now in pre-production, the film will centre on three generations of women – daughter, mother and grandmother – who are haunted by a manifestation of aged dementia that takes over their family home.
Casting is yet to be announced. Screen Australia and Film Victoria are co-funding the production, Endeavour Content will handle international sales and Umbrella Entertainment is the Australian distributor.
White said: “The idea of a screen adaption of The Nowhere Child is beyond exciting and I’m thrilled that it’s in such capable and talented hands. Having worked with Carver I know their passion for storytelling is contagious. Anonymous Content has produced some of my all-time favourite films and TV. “