Amazon Studios Orders YA Pilot Based on Harlan Coben Novel ‘Shelter’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Joe Otterson
·3-min read

Amazon Studios has ordered a YA pilot based on the Harlan Coben novel “Shelter,” Variety has learned exclusively.

Shelter” is the first novel in Coben’s Mickey Bolitar book series. MGM has acquired the rights to all the other books in the Mickey Bolitar series as well. According to an individual with knowledge of the project, should “Shelter” get ordered to series, it could go either to Amazon Prime Video or to IMDB TV. The pilot will begin filming this summer.

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In “Shelter,” Bolitar witnesses his father’s death and sends his mom to rehab. He is forced to live with his estranged aunt and switch high schools. Fortunately, he’s met a great girl, Ashley, and it seems like things might finally be improving. But then Ashley vanishes. Mickey follows Ashley’s trail into a seedy underworld that reveals that Ashley isn’t who she claimed to be. And neither was Mickey’s father. Soon Mickey learns about a conspiracy so shocking that it leaves him questioning everything about the life he thought he knew.

“Shelter” hails from MGM International Television Productions. Ed Decter will serve as showrunner and executive producer. Coben will also executive produce, as weill Erik Barmack.

“Shelter is a compelling story that hooks you from the beginning, with a hero you love to root for in Mickey,” said Vernon Sanders, co-head of television, Amazon Studios. “We’re thrilled to team with MGM, Harlan, and Ed to bring this popular character to life on screen.”

Coben has 75 million books in print worldwide, with the author having penned 31 novels to date. Others include “Win,” “The Boy From the Woods,” “Run Away,” and “Tell No One.” He is also the creator and executive producer of the Netflix shows “The Stranger,” “Safe,” The Five,” and “The Woods.” He was also the showrunner on the French TV mini-series “Une Chance De Trop” (“No Second Chance”) and “Just Un Regard” (“Just One Look”).

He is repped by UTA and Lisa Erbach Vance at Aaron Priest Literary Agency. The deal was brokered by attorney Michael Gendler of Gendler & Kelly on behalf of Harlan Coben

“I can’t wait to work on this adaptation of my young-adult novels with the talented people at Amazon and MGM International TV Productions,” said Harlan Coben.

Decter previously developed the Freeform series “Shadowhunters,” which was based on the “Mortal Instruments” novel series. The show ultimately aired for three seasons at the cabler. His other credits include “Unforgettable” and “In Plain Sight.”

Decter is repped by Ziffren Brittenham.

“Harlan Coben and I grew up in neighboring towns in New Jersey; however only one of us has sold 75 million books,” Decter said.

MGM International Television Productions recently announced a co-production with “Epix” for the sci-fi horror series “From.” The studio is also currently partnering with Sydney Gallonde’s Make It Happen Studio and France Televisions on “The Reunion,” an English-language series adapted from French author Guillaume Musso’s novel “La Jeune Fille et la Nuit.”

“Harlan Coben’s novels are exactly the right fit for our target global audiences: narratives that transcend borders and break boundaries,” said Rola Bauer, president of international TV productions for MGM. “He is a brilliant storyteller who is read worldwide, and along with our talented showrunner Ed Decter, we are proud to bring this relevant story to the screen, together with our partners at Amazon Studios.”

“Shelter” is the latest YA project from Amazon Studios, as the company makes a bigger push into the space. It was recently announced that Sarah Michelle Gellar will star in the YA pilot “Hot Pink” for Prime Video. The streamer already has the YA drama “The Wilds,” which has been renewed for a second season, as well as the upcoming YA drama “Panic.

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