Following a competitive auction, Fremantle’s Passenger and Sinestra (with whom Fremantle have a first-look deal) have acquired the television rights to Nathan Newman’s debut novel How To Leave The House ahead of its publication in Spring 2024.
Michael Parets, Johan Renck and Richard Brown will executive produce alongside Newman, who will also adapt their novel for television.
This project marks the first collaboration between Fremantle’s recently acquired Passenger, founded by Richard Brown (True Detective, This England, Catch-22), and Sinestra, a new production company set up by Emmy award-winning director Johan Renck (Chernobyl, The Last Panthers) and producer Michael Parets (Spaceman, coming to Netflix in 2023) who have signed a multi-year first-look deal with Fremantle.
Nathan Newman commented: “I’m hugely excited to be working with Richard, Michael and Johan on this project. Passenger and Sinestra are the best in the business right now — fearless, committed and ambitious. This will be a thrilling collaboration.”
Executive Producers Michael Parets, Johan Renck and Richard Brown added: “How To Leave The House feels like an instant classic; bracingly original, profoundly insightful and extremely funny to boot. We feel tremendously fortunate to work alongside Nathan as they shepherd How To Leave the House into its next life as a television series, introducing a prodigiously talented new voice to the television landscape!”
Taking place over the course of 24 hours, How To Leave The House follows Natwest, a precociously intelligent but anxious 23 year old, who orders an embarrassing package to his house on the eve of his departure for university. When it doesn’t arrive, he is forced on an odyssey around his small town to retrieve it.
23 year old Natwest is a literary hero for his generation: he is confident and yet vulnerable, capable of empathy as well as cruelty, and has a strong sense of identity. Natwest, like all of us—especially those of his generation—has been fooled into thinking he is the protagonist of his own life, as opposed to a minor incident in other people’s. This is reflected in the structure of the novel, in which every other chapter follows a different character who Natwest intersects with during his day.
Like a curated playlist—or a social media feed—these separate narratives variously thread back into one larger story, Natwest’s, whilst he grapples with the town he grew up in, its inhabitants, his queer sexuality, his relationship with his mother and absent father and his Jewish identity. By the time he finally gets his hands on the package at the end of the novel, everything has changed.
Nathan Newman is a 25 year old non-binary writer who has just finished studying at NYU where they have garnered praise from a number of notable authors including Zadie Smith. Their short stories have also won awards (James Knudsen Prize for Fiction) and they have been published in literary journals in the US, and several anthologies in the UK.
The deal was brokered by Sheila David at Catapult Rights, acting in conjunction with Brotherstone Creative Management. All translation queries to firstname.lastname@example.org. North American book rights were sold at auction to Patrick Nolan at Viking Penguin, with Anna Kelly at Abacus Little Brown publishing in the UK.