By Mike Fleming Jr.
RatPac Entertainment has joined Warner Bros. in the pursuit of movie rights to Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller The Goldfinch. They finally closed the deal today for a film that will be produced by Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson of Color Force, along with RatPac’s Brett Ratner, whose Hercules opened Friday. James Packer will be executive producer. It shows how prolific the relationship is becoming between Warner Bros. and RatPac, which teams with Dune on the overall slate financing deal with the studio.
This ends a long drawn out negotiation and becomes the second book by the bestselling author for Warner Bros., which years ago acquired Secret History. I’d heard that the studio’s glacial pace on that book was a reason this deal took so long, but this is flat out a coup for the studio, a real prestige title. ICM Partners brokered the deal for The Goldfinch, which has been on The New York Times bestseller list for 39 weeks. Courtenay Valenti and Racheline Benveniste will oversee for the studio.
The novel focuses on Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker who survives a bombing that kills his beloved mother. Abandoned by his father and unable to mesh in the elite social circle after he’s taken in by a wealthy friend, Decker stays connected to his mother through a small painting that eventually draws him into the art underworld.
Considering how not long ago it got off the ground, RatPac is in the middle of a lot of plum projects. They include: the Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu-directed Birdman and The Revenant, the Scott Cooper-directed Black Mass with Johnny Depp, Cameron Crowe’s Hawaii with Bradley Cooper, the Warren Beatty-directed Howard Hughes pic, the Doug Liman-directed Splinter Cell with Tom Hardy, the Justin Kurzel-directed Assassin’s Creed with Michael Fassbender, the Roman Polanski-directed Officer And A Spy, the Russell Crowe-directed The Water Diviner, and the Edward Norton-directed Motherless Brooklyn. This is outside of co-financing the entire Warner Bros. feature slate for the next four years.