DreamWorks Studios Acquires Film Rights to "The Big One"

By Pulitzer Prize Winning Author David Kinney
March 5, 2009

Los Angeles, CA- DreamWorks Studios has closed a preemptive purchase deal with The Gersh Agency for the film rights to the book, “The Big One: An Island, an Obsession, and the Furious Pursuit of a Great Fish,” it was announced today by Holly Bario, Co-President of Production at DreamWorks Studios. Written by Pulitzer Prize winner David Kinney, the non-fiction book will be released in April by publisher Grove/Atlantic.

“The Big One” chronicles a cross-section of blue-collar Americans in the pre-eminent annual tradition on Martha's Vineyard: the Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby. The most celebrated fishing tournament on the East Coast literally brings out everyone and their mother in hopes of catching a fish not just big enough to win the $30,000 grand prize...but one that will earn them island immortality. From over-competitive 9 year-olds to controversial cheating scandals, this heartfelt character ensemble reminds us that there is life, there is death, and in between, we're all chasing the big one.

Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci will produce for the studio. Bario, a Martha’s Vineyard native, will oversee the project at DreamWorks.

“David’s book contains the best of every genre from action and suspense to comedy and drama, and rolls it into a compelling narrative with the most colorful of characters,” said Holly Bario, Co-President of Production at DreamWorks Studios.  “DreamWorks is excited by the opportunity to bring this unique, yet universal tale of competition to movie-going audiences around the world.”

Kurtzman and Orci currently have an overall producing deal with DreamWorks Studios. They previously produced the action thriller “Eagle Eye” for the studio which was released last Fall. They have also written several screenplays for DreamWorks projects, including “Transformers” and its sequel “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” which will be in theaters this summer. Among their other writing credits are “Mission: Impossible III,” “The Legend of Zorro,” and this year’s “Star Trek,” which they are also executive producing. They also served as producers and writers on the hit TV series, “Alias,” and are executive producing the action/drama “Fringe” which currently airs on Fox.

David Kinney has written for The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Associated Press, and The Star-Ledger of Newark, New Jersey, where he worked on the team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2005. He lives with his family outside Philadelphia. While he currently ranks among the 90 percent of fishermen who catch 10 percent of the fish, he’s working to change that.

Kinney is represented by publishing agent Larry Weissman; Gersh repped Kinney on the film rights.