In what sounds like an interesting mashup between 8MM and The Ring, Syndrome E is now in development at Paramount and Indian Paintbrush. The Franck Thilliez novel by the same name is already a bestseller in France and it’s only the first installment of a planned ongoing series. Which means it has what Hollywood craves – franchise potential.
Per Deadline, “Paramount Pictures and Indian Paintbrush are closing a deal to acquire the rights to the international bestselling novel Syndrome E. Originally published in France, the Franck Thilliez novel is the first in a series, and it will be released in the U.S. by Viking this summer. The publisher bought U.S. rights at Frankfurt, and it’s the first book by the author to be translated into English.”
In the book, “The protagonist is a beleaguered detective named Lucie Hennebelle, who discovers that his friend comes down with a case of spontaneous blindness after watching an extremely rare and spectacularly violent film from the 1950s. The cop discovers that the film has been embedded with subliminal images that those who come in contact with it end up deal. The detective teams with a Paris cop who has been trying to figure out the film’s connection to five men murdered and left in the woods. Together they get to the bottom of what has to be the most disturbing and powerful film ever made. It has global and scientific implications, and its maker might well be the personification of evil and the origins of violence.”
Film Rites’ Steve Zaillian & Garrett Basch are producing with Steven Rales & Mark Roybal.