Picturestart Acquires Wattpad Hit Along for the Ride
Wattpad Books Will Publish the Novel as Part of its Spring/Summer 2020 List
LOS ANGELES - October 10, 2019 - PICTURESTART has acquired film and tv rights to Wattpad author Rachel Meinke’s book Along for The Ride. Wattpad and PICTURESTART will produce and PICTURESTART will develop and finance the project. Wattpad’s Aron Levitz, Eric Lehrman and Lindsey Ramey will produce. The project will be overseen by Jessica Switch and Lucy Putnam for PICTURESTART.
Tate Hanyok will adapt the project. Her previous work includes the feature SEX APPEAL, which won the Austin Film Festival's Comedy Screenplay Award in 2018 and which she will direct with Nickel City Pictures and Lit Entertainment Group producing.
Wattpad Books has also acquired the publishing rights to the story. It will be available as part of Wattpad Books’ Spring/Summer 2020 list.
Along for the Ride is an international smash-hit on Wattpad, where it has accumulated more than 26.3 million reads on the platform. The story follows 17-year old soccer star, Katelyn, as she’s forced to put her dreams on hold when her brother is offered a chance to tour for the summer with a world-famous boy band. Stuck on tour, Katelyn tries to focus on soccer to preserve her shot at the national team, but when she crosses paths with the band’s lead singer, her summer takes an unexpected turn.
“Along for the Ride is a phenomenon, a story with millions of reads and fans all over the world,” said Aron Levitz, Head of Wattpad Studios. “Rachel’s story gives new life to the classic romance formula, bringing together a strong, empowered young woman, new media stardom, and the difficult choices that define first-love. With Erik Feig’s unmatched track record of YA hits, PICTURESTART is the perfect partner to bring this beloved story to screens all over the world.”
“Rachel’s story hooked us at once and we devoured the book immediately. Her story introduces us to characters that are both relatable and aspirational and a world we didn’t want to leave. It‘s funny, smart, unexpected, and a great roller coaster of emotions. We were thrilled Wattpad chose us to be their partners on this exciting adaptation and we can’t wait to work with them on a movie that we know is going to be a must watch film,” added Erik Feig, Founder and CEO of PICTURESTART.
Author Rachel Meinke (@knightsrachel) has built a global fanbase on Wattpad and is one of the most popular writers on the platform, with more than 241,000 followers. She has published over 20 stories that have accumulated more than 300 million reads on Wattpad.
Hanyok is represented by LIT Entertainment and Meyer & Downs, LLP.
PICTURESTART, which focuses on “discovery of voice” content and storytelling, is the media company founded by producer and former studio executive Erik Feig. Although just recently launched, PICTURESTART already has a rich and diverse slate of projects in various stages of development: the action-packed epic true story about Japan's first African samurai, YASUKE, starring Chadwick Boseman; the eagerly anticipated musical GREASE: SUMMER NIGHTS, for Paramount, produced with Temple Hill Productions; the film adaptation of bestselling teen classic ELEANOR & PARK; the high-school-cheating caper remake of the Thai hit BAD GENIUS; the film adaptation of the New York Times bestselling novel, WITH THE FIRE ON HIGH by Elizabeth Acevedo; and UNPREGNANT, a teen road-trip comedy based on the novel written by Jenni Hendriks and Ted Caplan, published last month by HarperTeen. The film, which began production this month, is slated for release on WarnerMedia's HBOMax platform, and is being directed by Rachel Lee Goldenberg with Hendriks and Caplan having adapted for screen.
Wattpad’s vision is to entertain and connect the world through stories. Using the power of community and technology, the global multiplatform entertainment company is unleashing the full potential of stories to the world – in any format. Wattpad’s flagship app is the world’s leading social storytelling platform, home to a community of more than 80 million people who spend over 22 billion minutes a month engaged in original stories. Wattpad’s Story DNA Machine Learning technology allows the company to understand and discover stories among the more than half a billion uploads that have been written on the platform. Wattpad Studios and Wattpad Books are transforming entertainment and publishing, using data-backed insights to turn Wattpad stories into books, films, TV shows, and digital projects. Wattpad Brand Partnerships offers a full suite of advertising products to help brands build deep engagement with Millennial and Gen Z consumers. Tap by Wattpad, the company’s second storytelling product, offers immersive interactive entertainment experiences in over a dozen languages. The company is proudly based in Toronto, Canada.