EXCLUSIVE: UK production company Wild Nest Pictures has secured screen rights to Jon Ransom’s debut novel The Whale Tattoo, which last week won a Polari prize, one of the UK’s premier awards for LGBTQ+ literature.
Wild Nest, headed by actor Tom Brittney (Grantchester) and actor-writer Oliver Powell (Devs) are developing the adaptation, with Ransom set to pen the script and Brittney eyeing the project as his feature directorial debut.
The Whale Tattoo follows Joe who returns to the small Norfolk fishing town where he grew up to confront the past. Haunted by death, trauma and unfulfilled love, he soon learns the disturbing truth about the river running alongside the house his estranged father still lives in.
“Jon is a brilliant new voice in queer literature. His writing is incredibly evocative, raw and steeped in atmosphere. We’re excited to help him bring Joe’s story of grief and forgiveness to life,” Wild Nest said.
Ransom added: “It’s an absolute dream come true. Tom and Ollie’s passion for developing the novel into a film is everything a writer could wish for.”
The deal, which comes ahead of Ransom’s sophomore book being published early next year, was struck between Waring McKenna’s John Summerfield, who will also serve as an EP, and Ransom’s representatives Abi Fellows at DHH Literary Agency in association with Emily Hayward Whitlock at The Artist’s Partnership.
As we previously revealed, Wild Nest’s development slate also includes an adaptation of WWI crime novels The Mayfair 100 on which they partnered with Patrick Melrose outfit Little Island Productions.
Brittney is repped by United Agents, Gersh and Authentic Talent & Literary Management.