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Universal Wins Bidding War for ‘Falling’ in 7-Figure Deal

Project is described as ”Speed“ at 35,000 feet

Universal Studios has won the film rights to “Falling,” the debut novel of former flight attendant T.J. Newman, in a seven-figure deal, according to an individual with knowledge of the deal.

“Falling” is described as “Speed” at 35,000 feet and centers on a crowded flight from New York to L.A., with 140-plus passengers who don’t know that their pilot’s family was kidnapped a half-hour before takeoff. Now, in order for his family to live, the pilot must follow orders and crash their plane.

Newman signed a seven-figure two-book deal with Simon & Schuster’s Avid Reader Press last week.

Universal beat out other bidders on the project including Neil Moritz, Jason Bateman, Matt Reeves and Jerry Bruckheimer. Matt Reilly will oversee the project for Universal along with Working Title’s Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan, and The Story Factory’s Shane Salerno, who reps Newman, is also on board to produce.

“Falling” is set to publish in July. Newman left her former job as a flight attendant and is already at work on the second book.

The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.