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Fremantle, Passenger partner up to make Tess Gunty’s Rabbit Hutch

Production and distribution group Fremantle and True Detective producer Richard Brown’s Passenger have optioned US author Tess Gunty’s debut novel The Rabbit Hutch.

Set over one sweltering week in July in a fictional rustbelt Indiana town and culminating in a bizarre act of violence that changes everything, The Rabbit Hutch is described as a savagely beautiful and bitingly funny snapshot of contemporary America.

Fremantle and Passenger said the book, which won this year’s National Book Award in the US, had been optioned in a highly competitive situation.

Along with The National Book Award for fiction, The Rabbit Hutch has won the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize, the Waterstone’s Debut Fiction Prize and was a ‘must read’ book of 2022 by Time Magazine.

Brown will produce the adaptation with Gunty on board as an executive producer. It continues Fremantle’s partnership with Brown, which has seen it work with Passenger on various premium scripted and factual projects.

Richard Brown

These include Sky’s recent drama This England, written and directed by Michael Winterbottom and starring Kenneth Branagh.

Fremantle and Passenger have also teamed up to produce a premium documentary series on the creation and launch of the NBA’s Basketball Africa League (BAL). The series is directed by Brown along with South African director Tebogo Malope.

Brown said: “Tess Gunty has written a wildly inventive and mesmerising novel populated with irresistible characters, including a heroine for the ages – we’re delighted that she has trusted us to adapt it for the screen.”

Gunty added: “Richard’s ambitious vision, discerning taste and commitment to thoughtful adaptations makes him a thrilling fit for this project.”

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