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‘Caster’: YA Novel Getting Feature Take From Scribe Maggie Levin At Paramount – Deadline

By Anthony D'Alessandro
Editorial Director/Box Office Editor
EXCLUSIVE: Maggie Levin is writing an adaptation of Elsie Chapman’s young-adult novel Caster for Paramount. We understand that the deal closed before the announced departure of Paramount chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos and that the project is in very early development.
Levin currently is writing the TriStar sequel Labyrinth, which Doctor Strange filmmaker Scott Derrickson is set to direct.
Caster is part of a YA franchise in the spirit of The Hunger Games meets Fight Club. It centers on Aza Wu, who knows that real magic is dangerous and illegal. In fact, casting killed her sister, Shire. As with all magic, everything comes at a price. For Aza, it feels like everything in her life has some kind of cost attached to it. Her sister had been casting for money to pay off Saint Willow, the gang leader who oversees her sector of Lotusland, and now that debt falls on Aza’s shoulders. With Shire dead, Aza must step in to save the legacy of Wu Teas, the teahouse that has been in her family for centuries. Aza enters herself in an underground casting tournament, one in which she must fight for her life. Chapman’s book was first released in 2019 through Scholastic Press and is now a two-book series.

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Scholastic Entertainment and Josephson Entertainment are producing along with Weed Road. Caitlin Friedman and Iole Luchesse will produce on behalf of Scholastic. Barry Josephson and D. Matt Geller are producing on behalf of Josephson. Akiva Goldsman and Greg Lessans are producing on behalf of Weed Road. Paramount execs on the project are Vanessa Joyce and Ellie Walker. Development executives Kelsi Fleming and Rachel Reznick are overseeing respectively for Josephson and Weed Road.
Levin directed an episode of the Hulu series Into the Dark and is the second unit director on Blumhouse’s upcoming feature The Black Phone. 
She is repped by WME, Stephanie Myer at Gang Tyre and Natalie Covault at Brillstein Entertainment Partners LA.
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