Controversial author James Frey is teaming up with HarperCollins, Twentieth Century Fox and Google on a publishing and film deal for his new young adult trilogy, “Endgame.”
The three companies are billing the Frey novels as an “interactive project,” one that will span three books, fifteen original e-book novellas, YouTube videos, search and image results, mapping coordinates, social media, and interactive gaming. The whole enterprise will culminate in a film series, with Frey handling screenplay duties on the first film, “Endgame: The Calling.”
The interactive elements will be the brainchild of HarperCollins, Frey’s media production company Full Fathom Five, and Google’s Niantic Labs.
The books are reportedly about a dystopian future in which members of various bloodlines fight to the death. It’s all very shades of “The Hunger Games.” “Endgame: The Calling” will be published on October 7th, 2014. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Frey has emerged as a forward thinker in publishing, with his transmedia company, Full Fathom, acting as the force behind the best-seller “I Am Number Four.” That book was turned into a film from DreamWorks.
Yet, he has had his missteps. Most notably, when his addiction memoir “A Million Little Pieces” was found to have been partially fabricated. Full Fathom, with its emphasis on creating commercially minded young adult novels and its penchant for not giving authors credit, has its critics and has been derided as a “young-adult-novel-assembly-line.”
The “Endgame” films will be produced by Temple Hill’s Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen, who know the young adult world intimately, having produced the “Twilight” films and the upcoming theatrical adaptation of the bestseller, “The Fault in Our Stars.”
“Endgame” sounds as if its part literary event, part game show. A major prize is at stake for each book in the series, requiring fans to solve a puzzle. The first book will involve gold that is on public display in a secure bullet-proof glass case. Solving the puzzle will lead to the discovery of a key to the case. That event will be broadcast live on YouTube.
Google’s Niantic Labs will be tasked with developing an augmented reality game tied into the book.
“We’re doing something really amazing, really new, something readers are going to love. The whole project is a dream come true, and as far as I’m concerned, October can’t come soon enough,” Frey said in a statement.