Julie Plec, Universal TV Acquire Rights to E. Lockhart YA Books

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E. Lockhart’s bestselling YA novels — “We Were Liars,” its prequel “Family of Liars” and “Again Again” — have been optioned by Julie Plec’s My So-Called Company and Universal Television.

Released in 2014, the critically acclaimed, TikTok phenomenon “We Were Liars” follows the thrilling and suspenseful unraveling of a group of four friends — the title Liars. The tragic love story, set on a private island, became a National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honor.

Its prequel, published in May, takes readers back a generation to uncover the stories of generations past and the “secrets that will haunt them for decades to come.”

“Again Again” — which was published in 2020 — centers on the young Adelaide Buchwald, who survives near-fatal family catastrophe and embarks on an unexpected journey of romantic upheaval. Set during the summer, she discovers what it means to love and reshapes her ideas about romance.

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Carina Adly MacKenzie (“Roswell New Mexico,” “The Originals”) and Lockhart are set to co-write the adaptation of “Again Again,” with the former also showrunning and executive producing alongside Plec and her producing partner Emily Cummins. Meanwhile, Plec will adapt “We Were Liars” and “Family of Liars.”

“I’ve chased We Were Liars for years,” Plec said in a statement. “It’s one of the best YA novels I’ve ever read, and I’ve read a lot. It’s mysterious, romantic and devastating — and Family of Liars showed me just how sprawling and multi-generational the series can be. Being able to adapt it for television is a career highlight for me — not to mention how thrilled I am to bring the lovely, intimate, emotional journey that is Again Again to life with Carina and the Emilys (Lockhart and Cummins).”

Lockhart added, “One day in early 2020, Julie Plec and I drank white wine and ate taco chips together in a Mexican restaurant. Though I had met her before, and though I adored The Originals and Legacies and Roswell, New Mexico, when we had drinks she was so wonderfully, amazingly astute about storytelling, she understood the themes in my books so well, and she was such an incredible powerhouse of business acumen and nutball levels of intelligence, I knew I would be insanely lucky to have her take charge of as many of my novels as she wanted. As for Carina Adly MacKenzie, she is a story queen and a brainiac who is very funny and mind-blowingly thoughtful. I can’t wait to go on this adventure with her.”

Plec is best known for the complete “Vampire Diaries” Universe (executive producing “The Vampire Diaries,” “The Originals” and “Legacies”), which has spanned eleven years and 300 episodes of television. She will also be co-creating and co-showrunning the upcoming series “Vampire Academy,” based on the popular book series, set to debut Sept. 15 on Peacock. Plec is currently under an overall deal at Universal Television, where she is developing projects across all platforms for the studio.

Lockhart is also the author of “Whistle: A New Gotham City Hero,” “Genuine Fraud,” “Dramarama,” “Fly on the Wall,” “The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks” and the Ruby Oliver quartet. She is repped by Kassie Evashevski at Anonymous Content, Elizabeth Kaplan and Jonathan Ehrlich.

Deadline first reported the news.

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