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Ripley Parker to Adapt Sarah Underwood’s YA Fantasy Novel ‘Lies We Sing to the Sea’ for Archery Pictures



Fast-rising writer Ripley Parker, whose first TV project Everything Now (previously entitled The Fuck It Bucket) is launching on Netflix later this year, is set to adapt the YA fantasy novel Lies We Sing to the Sea for film with the rights having been acquired by Kris Thykier’s UK-based banner Archery Pictures.

The debut novel of Sarah Underwood, Lies We Sing to the Sea is magical coming-of-age drama set in a sun and blood-soaked Ancient Greece, inspired by the myth of Penelope’s hanged maids. In the cursed kingdom of Ithaca, each spring brings the hanging of twelve young women, a tithe to the vengeful Poseidon. But when Leto awakens from her death on the shore of a magical island, its enigmatic keeper Melantho tells her that she has been chosen by the Gods to break Ithaca’s curse. Leto must return home and kill the prince.

Snapped up in a pre-empt by Farshore in the UK and its sister company HarperCollins Children’s Books in the US, the book published on March 16 in the UK, while in the US has already reached number two on the Indie Bestseller list and number 9 on the New York Times‘ Bestseller List in its first week of publication.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled and honored to have been entrusted with these characters,” said Parker, who’s the daughter of Thandiwe Newton and Oli Parker. “To be handed someone else’s story for safekeeping is such a beautiful responsibility, and I only hope I can do it justice. It’s a truly incredible book, and Sarah is obviously prodigiously talented. The world will very soon be clamoring for more of her words. I’m so thrilled to be working with her, and all the wonderful folks at Archery.”

Added Underwood: “I’m absolutely thrilled that Lies We Sing to the Sea is being adapted for film, and I cannot imagine a better home for it than at Archery Pictures. It’s been wonderful to see Ripley’s enthusiasm for this project; I know that Leto, Melantho, and Mathias are in the very best of hands.”

Archery Pictures recently produced John Madden’s World War II spy drama Operation Mincemeatstarring Colin Firth, Matthew Macfadyen and Kelly Macdonald, while on the TV side it produced two seasons of the Netflix hit. Fate: The Winx Sagaand three seasons of Riviera for Sky Atlantic.

“Both Ripley and Sarah are formidable talents,” said Thykier. In Lies We Sing to the Sea, Sarah has taken something old and familiar and made it dazzling and new. Ripley’s fresh and original voice was our first and only choice for the adaptation. We feel incredibly honored and very lucky to be working with them both. They are the very brightest of stars.”

The deal was brokered by Emily Hayward Whitlock at The Artists Partnership on behalf of Catherine Cho at Paper Literary for Underwood and by Charlotte Knight at Knight Hall Agency for Parker.

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