EXCLUSIVE: In a competitive situation, Will Yun Lee and Mark and Christine Holder’s Seoul Street has acquired rights to Silver Phoenix author Cindy Pon’s bestselling sci-fi novels Want and sequel Ruse for development as an international television series.
The book series, published by Simon & Schuster under their YA banner Pulse, explores a divided society in near-future Taipei plagued by pollution and class wars. The books center around a diverse group of friends who risk everything to save themselves and their city from collapse.
Search is underway for a writer, with the partners focused on finding an Asian American voice to pen the series.
“It’s an exciting and touching portrayal of love, war, and friendship encapsulated in this incredibly rich and textured world that Cindy has brilliantly created,” said Christine Holder.
Added Lee, “Cindy’s characters leaped off the page from the moment I opened the book. Her ability to craft such beautifully human characters while narrating the Asian experience lines up so well with what we are striving for at Seoul Street.”
Pon’s novels became a sought-after property following the global success of Netflix’s Korean drama phenom Squid Game, which proved that international programming can produce a mainstream global hit.
“Want is a book of my heart and was such a challenge and delight to write,” Pon said. “It is a love letter to Taipei and cyberpunk with Asian leads, and I’m so excited by the prospect of bringing my story to the screen with the team at Seoul Street.”
Pon also is the author of Silver Phoenix, which was named one of the Top Ten Fantasy and Science Fiction Books for Youth by the American Library Association’s Booklist and one of 2009′s best Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror by Voya. She also penned Serpentine and Sacrifice, which were both Junior Library Guild selections. Pon also is the co-founder of Diversity in YA with Malinda Lo. She is repped by Emma Patterson at Brandt & Hochman.
Seoul Street is currently developing Hawaiian crime drama Aloha Motherf***er with HBO Max and showrunner Cris Cole, as well as packaging a slate of elevated material with a focus on Asian and Asian American IP.
The Good Doctor star Lee teamed with Wonder Street partners Christine and Mark Holder earlier this year to launch film and TV venture Seoul Street, focused on telling unique diverse and inclusive stories. On the feature side, Seoul Street is behind Lions in the Garden, which is currently in development with Kevin Hart’s HartBeat Productions.
In addition to his series regular role on ABC’s The Good Doctor, Lee, repped by Wonder Street, Innovative and attorney Patti Felker, can be seen on Peacock’s The Girl in The Woods. Last year, the Holders produced the film The Mauritanian, which won Jodie Foster a Golden Globe, and the Emmy-nominated Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker for Netflix.