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Sony Snaps Up Grady Hendrix’s Short Story “Ankle Snatcher” For Feature Development

EXCLUSIVE: Sony has preemptively closed a deal for film rights to Grady Hendrix’s short story “Ankle Snatcher,” tapping Hendrix to adapt it for the screen, sources tell Deadline. Hendrix is also set to produce alongside Escape Artists’ Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Tony Shaw, as well as Aperture Entertainment’s Adam Goldworm.

The first short story Hendrix has taken to market, after setting up numerous novels and original screenplays for adaptation, “Ankle Snatcher” was released in September 2023 as part of Amazon Original Stories’ Creature Feature collection comprised of six original stories written by New York Times bestselling authors, the others being Joe Hill, Josh Malerman, Paul Tremblay, Jason Mott, and Chandler Baker.

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Hendrix’s story follows Marcus, who grew up believing his father killed his mother — then blamed it on the boogeyman under the bed. Always leave the lights on, his father warned, or the boogeyman will get you. Marcus still heeds the superstition, especially when he invites his new girlfriend over. Is Marcus haunted by a creature or has he just inherited his father’s murderous delusions? The night will tell.

Establishing himself in recent years as a major voice in the genre space, Hendrix is the author of New York Times bestsellers The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires, which is in development at HBO; The Final Girl Support Group, which is in development at Max with Andy Muschietti directing and Charlize Theron producing along with Double Dream and Aperture; and How to Sell a Haunted House, which is in development at Legendary with James Ashcroft directing and Ghost House set to produce alongside Aperture.

Hendrix’s other works include Horrorstör, which is set up at New Republic with Hendrix adapting, and My Best Friend’s Exorcism, which was adapted into an Amazon feature, released in 2022. To date, his books have sold more than 1.5 million copies worldwide.

Coming off of Season 2 of its Peacock anthology Dr. Death, based on the hit Wondery podcast, Escape Artists last year wrapped up its hit Apple TV+ horror series Servant, co-produced with M. Night Shyamalan’s Blinding Edge Pictures, which ran for four seasons. Up next for the company is Netflix’s The Piano Lesson, the next August Wilson adaptation for Denzel Washington and Black, on the heels of the Academy Award winners Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Fences, which is slated for release this year. Other upcoming projects include an Apple/A24 adaptation of Akira Kurosawa’s crime thriller High and Low, reuniting Washington and director Spike Lee, and Masters of the Universe, which is ramping up at Amazon MGM Studios with Laika’s Travis Knight on board to direct and Mattel also set to produce.

Goldworm’s boutique management and production company Aperture Entertainment is currently producing survival thriller Thaw at New Line with Evil Dead Rise‘s Lee Cronin directing, Hannibal at Netflix with Washington starring and Antoine Fuqua directing, Horrorstör at New Republic, Widmyer & Kolsch’s indie horror The Swallow, and How to Sell a Haunted House at Legendary. Goldworm previously produced the indie hit My Friend Dahmer and exec produced the $147M-plus gross Vin Diesel actioner The Last Witch Hunter. Currently, Aperture is also developing the series adaptation of Hendrix’s Final Girl Support Group at Max.

Hendrix is represented by Aperture Entertainment, JABberwocky, and Gang, Tyre, Ramer. Goldworm is repped by attorney Ashley Silver at Brecheen, Feldman, Breimer,

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