Normal People producer Element Pictures has acquired film and TV rights to Nicola Dinan’s debut novel, Bellies, ahead of its publication in the US and UK next summer.
The prodco, which was acquired by Fremantle in May, is working with the author on an 8 x 30-minute adaptation of the book, which is described as a “coming-of-age novel” about two queer students who fall in love at university, but find their relationship dramatically upended when one of them comes out as trans and decides to transition.
Fremantle will handle global sales alongside De Maio Entertainment, with Element Pictures’ Ed Guiney, Andrew Lowe and Chelsea Morgan Hoffmann executive producing alongside Dinan.
The author said: “At its heart, Bellies isn’t about identity. Rather, it’s about two young people struggling to find their place in world, all while learning how to care for each other and those around them. I’m so happy to be working with Element, and to have the opportunity to continue to explore these characters and share them with the world onscreen.”
Bellies will be published by Doubleday in the UK in July 2023 and Hanover Square Press in the US in August 2023. Dinan writes full-time and is working on her second novel.
The rights deal was brokered by Lesley Thorne of Aitken Alexander Associates on behalf of Dinan and her literary agent Monica MacSwan, and Mark Byrne for Element Pictures.