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Bill Clinton Is Pitching Film Rights To A Forthcoming Mystery Novel Around Hollywood This Week

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(Photo of Bill Clinton by Gage Skidmore via Flickr)
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A former reality television star is in the White House and a former U.S. president is in Hollywood this week, shopping the adaptation rights to a mystery novel he's co-writing around town. 2017, amirite?

Deadline reports that the Boy from Hope is heading to Los Angeles this week to pitch various bigwigs on the film and TV rights for a novel he is co-writing with airport bookstore mega-seller James Patterson. According to The Hollywood Reporter, J.J. Abrams, Steven Spielberg and George Clooney will be among those taking in-person meetings with Patterson and the former president this week, as the "battle begins to brew for the film rights to one of the biggest literary properties of the year." Clinton friend Steve Bing is also said to be among those getting a meeting.

The President Is Missing, the forthcoming novel in question, is set to be released in June 2018 by Alfred A. Knopf and Little, Brown and Company. Not much is known about it yet, beyond the press release description supplied to the New York Times (a “unique amalgam of intrigue, suspense and behind-the-scenes global drama”) and the fact that the plot will be “informed by insider details that only a president can know.” Five James Patterson books have previously been made into movies, including 1997's Kiss the Girls and 2001's Along Came a Spider.

Here are some more details from the Hollywood Reporter:

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CAA's Richard Lovett is handling the rights to the project, which is being treated as a top-secret property. Sources say a 10-page proposal was sent out to buyers and top producers on Monday. It was sent via an expiring link and watermarked.

According to one veteran film producer, it's not unusual for the rights to big-deal books to get hawked long before hardbacks hit the shelves. "People do buy [the rights to] books before they are written, especially by popular authors," the producer said, speculating that $1 million would be the minimum in advance that the film or TV rights would likely sell for.

"That's not unusual to do if you can, it's just unusual for the President of the United States to be at the meeting. Though I guess that's different now," the producer continued, trailing off.