Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother Optioned by Paramount Pictures

The Tracking Board reports that Paramount Pictures is joining the YA franchise game by acquiring the feature rights to Cory Doctorow’s technothriller Little Brother. Published in 2008, the book follows a 17-year-old hacker in the wrong place at the wrong time following a terrorist attack on San Francisco, and how he and his friends must fend for themselves when their home becomes a police state.

According to Deadline, the plan is to create “a successful reality-based YA franchise,” likely in contrast to the dystopian offerings we see in the Hunger Games and Divergent films. Though interestingly, The Tracking Board cites sources who say the studio will be marketing Little Brother as a blend of Divergent, the Bourne movies, and the incredibly dark (but incredibly on-the-nose) British TV series Black Mirror.

Here’s more about the book:

Marcus, a.k.a “w1n5t0n,” is only seventeen years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works—and how to work the system. Smart, fast, and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school’s intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems.

But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they’re mercilessly interrogated for days.

When the DHS finally releases them, Marcus discovers that his city has become a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: to take down the DHS himself.

There’s plenty of material there, as well as in the sequel, Homeland. Don Murphy (Natural Born Killers, Transformers) will produce. In the meantime, check out our review of Little Brother, which describes the book as “a fantasy of political agency.”

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