Local man’s novel hits the big time
By: Lisa Hlavinka
The movie rights were sold before a Spencer Township native’s novel even hit store shelves.
Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay picked up the rights to Black River High School graduate Jobie Hughes’ young adult novel, “I Am Number Four,” on June 26. The novel does not come out until September 2010.
Spielberg and Bay were not the only ones interested in the novel. Represented by Beverly Hills-based Endeavor Talent Agency, Hughes said there was a bidding war between Spielberg and Bay and producer J.J. Abrams for rights to the story.“They bought the rights to an unpublished book … before we had interest in the book, the movie rights were done and sold,” said Hughes, 29, who grew up in the township and now resides in New York City. “Usually it’s always done the other way around.”
Now, DreamWorks LLC, a film studio co-founded by Spielberg, anticipates the film to be out in July 2011.
“It’s pretty surreal,” Hughes said via phone Sunday.
Before the Hollywood glamour, however, came the task of writing “I Am Number Four.”
Hughes has a co-author, James Frey, who wrote the memoir, “A Million Little Pieces.”
Hughes Hughes did not name Frey specifically, he said, because the partnership was originally supposed to be secret. However, other media have named Frey as the co-author of the book.