Sony Wins Michael Crichton-James Patterson Bestseller ‘Eruption’ In Seven-Figure Deal

EXCLUSIVE: The Michael Crichton and James Patterson novel Eruption has been bought at auction by Sony in what we hear is a seven-figure deal after several circled.

The feature take of Eruption already has Oscar-winning Free Solo directors Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi attached to direct, and we understand that there already have been conversations with Keanu Reeves to star, though no commitment.

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Producers on the feature are Sherri Crichton for Crichton Sun, Patterson and Shane Salerno. Chin and Vasarhelyi also will produce. They made their narrative directing debut on Nyad, which got Oscar noms for Annette Bening and Jodie Foster.

Eruption, which Crichton spent 20 years writing before his death in 2008, follows a history-making volcano explosion that is about to wipe away the big island of Hawaii. However, a secret held for decades by the U.S. military is far more terrifying than any volcano.

The deal for Eruption was made by Salerno’s The Story Factory and CAA. The novel went out to buyers in early May as Deadline first reported. Sherri Crichton found her husband’s writing, notes and research and drafted Patterson to finish the book.

The novel debuted atop the lists of Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Apple, and topped The New York Times Bestseller List. Crichton and Patterson have combined global book sales around 700 million. Crichton’s heavily researched, science-grounded novels have been catnip to filmmakers and studios. From Jurassic ParkER and Twister to WestworldThe Andromeda Strain and Disclosure, Crichton’s work has grossed over $10 billion at the global box office.

RELATED: Scarlett Johansson Teases “Incredible” ‘Jurassic World 4’ Script & Says She’s Wanted To Join The Franchise For Over 10 Years

The late Crichton’s work is seeing a revival of late: Universal and Warner Bros are about to release the sequel Twisters. The best-selling author produced and co-wrote the original 1996 blockbuster. In addition, Universal and Amblin’s Jurassic World 4, based on Crichton’s characters, is in production with Scarlett Johansson starring.

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