EXCLUSIVE: Following the success of the romantic comedy The Kissing Booth, Netflix and Joey King have found their next project to collaborate on as King has signed to star in and exec produce an adaptation of Scott Westerfeld’s international bestseller dystopian fantasy novel Uglies. McG, whose recent films all have been for Netflix, has signed on to direct.
The story is set in a world in which a compulsory operation at 16 wipes out physical differences and makes everyone pretty by conforming to an ideal standard of beauty. Sources say King long has been a fan of the series and was aggressive in pursuing the lead role once Netflix acquired rights to the novel.
Krista Vernoff will adapt the script. John Davis and Jordan Davis will produce for Davis Entertainment Company along with Robyn Mesinger for Anonymous Content, Dan Spilo for Industry Entertainment and McG and Mary Viola for their Wonderland banner.
Jamie King and Westerfield will join Joey King as exec producers.
Joey King already has had a big summer after Netflix premiered the sequel to her smash hit romantic comedy, The Kissing Booth, as well as announcing a third film, which already is shot and King returning to star. She is also coming off her Emmy-nominated role of Gypsy in Hulu’s limited series The Act and also will produce series for Hulu after striking a first-look deal with the streaming service. She is the youngest person to strike a deal with a streaming network.
She also signed on to co-star with Brad Pitt in Sony’s Bullet Train.
She is attached to headline and executive produce the limited series, A Spark of Light, by Sony Pictures TV based on the bestselling book by Jodi Piccoult. She also will produce and star in The In Between, written by Marc Klein, for Paramount Players.
This will mark the fourth film McG has directed for the studio having previously helmed The Babysitter, Rim of the World and The Babysitter: Killer Queen.
Vernoff is showrunner and executive producer of ABC’s long-running hit series Grey’s Anatomy, along with its spinoff Station 19, and her new show, Rebel, inspired by the life of Erin Brockovich and starring Katey Sagal, was recently picked up straight to series at ABC.
She is repped by UTA, Coast to Coast Talent Group, Dan Spilo of Industry Entertainment and attorney Howard Fishman. McG is repped by WME, Management 360 and Sloane Offer Weber and Dern. Vernoff is repped by UTA. Westerfield is represented by CAA and Jill Grinberg of Jill Grinberg Literary Management