The Bookseller – Rights – Pan Mac captures screenwriter McCarten’s ‘tension-filled’ thriller amid worldwide clamour for rights | #macos | #macsecurity


Pan Macmillan has signed Going Zero, a new thriller from Oscar-nominated screenwriter and producer Anthony McCarten, which has now sold in more than 20 languages. 

Vicki Mellor, publishing director for fiction, signed UK and Commonwealth rights from Karolina Sutton at Curtis Brown on behalf of Jennifer Joe at ICM Partners.

Pan Macmillan will publish in the UK in hardback in April 2023, with a mass-market paperback in February 2024. The book will be published internationally by HarperCollins in the US. McCarten will additionally adapt and produce the novel for the screen.

Going Zero focuses on 10 Americans chosen to participate in the Beta test of Fusion, a high-tech partnership between the CIA and Cy Baxter, multi-billionaire and c.e.o. of WordShare, the country’s most popular social network.  

The synopsis explains: “At the appointed hour, each of the candidates have two hours to ‘Go Zero’—disappear—and then 30 days to elude the highly sophisticated Capture Teams, whose sole mission is to find them and take them out of the game. The stakes are immense. For Cy, they consist of a multibillion-dollar contract with the government, gaining him access to the combined intelligence and resources of the CIA, FBI and NSA, with which to finally realise his vision for a safer future: true security.  

“For the 10 participants, eluding capture and being victorious comes with a $3m prize. But for one, Boston librarian Kaitlyn Day, the stakes are higher. She is  after something much more personal, something that may cost Cy everything…”

McCarten is a double Academy Award-nominated and double Bafta-winning screenwriter and producer of “The Theory of Everything”, “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “The Two Popes”, alongside being a novelist and playwright. He is the originating author of  Darkest Hour, both the Academy Award-winning film and bestselling non-fiction book, published by Harper Perennial. 

He said: “The realities of tracking someone, and of being tracked; of the good but also malign influences of digital technologies in our most personal spaces; of our diminishing control of our own personal data… these are some of the pressing issues central to this book. Beyond that, I hope readers simply enjoy this tale of one Boston librarian who takes on the system, seeking a way to outwit it.” 

Mellor commented: “From its opening page, it was clear that this was a novel that we had to publish. Anthony, whose experience and calibre shines through on every page, has delivered not only a fantastic, tension-filled thriller that races along at an incredible pace, but one that examines our relationship with privacy and security in a way that outlines just how aware we all should be about how much we do online without thought or potential repercussion. I couldn’t be more excited about publishing this brilliant novel on our list.” 

Sutton added: “Anthony McCarten is a master of suspenseful narrative and this one comes with the highest imaginable human stakes and a dazzling pace.”



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