William Diehl’s New York Times bestselling novel, Hooligans, has been optioned from Virginia Gunn Diehl and the Diehl Estate by Informant Media for five figures against six, according to Atchity Entertainment International (AEI) President Chi-Li Wong. AEI manages the William Diehl Estate.
Both the novel and the script that Diehl himself wrote the first draft of tell the story of a band of rogue cops who reassemble in a southern coastal town to settle an old score—and to revive flames long dormant. The story offers a gritty, realistic look at how the introduction of the gaming industry affects the mid-sized city, seen through the eyes of a law enforcement agent who remembers the place untouched.
Informant Media’s Judy Cairo and Michael A. Simpson will produce with AEI’s Ken Atchity and Chi-Li Wong, once the script has been revised for production by Simpson, Diehl’s long-time screenwriting partner. Informant Media just completed “Crazy Heart” (Jeff Bridges, Robert Duvall, Maggie Gylenhaal) in association with Butcher’s Run Films and MTV Films.
AEI has also optioned Diehl’s 27 to Scott Abramovich's Breaking Balls Film, with the script now completed by Abramovich. AEI is also producing Diehl's Eureka with Neil Canton and Danny Davids.
Diehl is the author of nine best-selling novels: SHARKY'S MACHINE (1978), CHAMELEON (1981), HOOLIGANS (1985), THAI HORSE (1988, winner of the 1988 American Mystery Award as best spy thriller), THE HUNT, formerly titled 27 (1990), PRIMAL FEAR (1993), SHOW OF EVIL (1995) and REIGN IN HELL (1997) and EUREKA (2001). His novels have been published in 21 countries. Diehl was completing his tenth novel SEVEN WAYS TO DIE, as yet unpublished, at the time of his death in November 2006.
Two of his novels, SHARKY'S MACHINE and PRIMAL FEAR, became hit movies. A remake of SHARKY'S MACHINE is currently being developed by Warner Bros Pictures with Phil Janou attached to direct and Mark Wahlberg as executive producer.