John Gray announced today that he has acquired the film rights to Bryan Gruley’s mystery thriller The Hanging Tree. Through his production shingle, Ovington Avenue Productions, Gray will write and direct the film, as well as produce it with his producing partner Melissa Jo Peltier. The pair just came off the festival circuit with audience favorite, “White Irish Drinkers,” which was released in 25 cities this past spring by Screen Media.
The Hanging Tree is the second novel in the best-selling Starvation Lake mystery series. The book is nominated for 2011’s The Barry Award and The Anthony Award, awards of the mystery/crime genre. The first book of the series, Starvation Lake, won The Barry Award, The Anthony Award and the Strand Critics Award the year it was released. The third novel, The Skeleton Box, will be released in Summer 2012.
New York based Gray said “Bryan Gruley has written a brilliant series of novels, with rich characters in an incredibly visual and fascinating world. The themes in this particular novel resonated deeply with me, and I’m passionate about bringing it to the screen.”
The deal was negotiated by Anna DeRoy and David Karp of WME, and John Diemer and Tom Collier of Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal LaViolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman.
A veteran writer, director and producer in both television and film, Gray’s works include the CBS hit series, “The Ghost Whisperer,” which he created, and the recent indie feature “White Irish Drinkers,” which he wrote, directed and produced for the big screen. Additional film credits include directing “Born to Be Wild” and “The Glimmer Man,” both for Warner Brothers. Additional television credits include writing and directing “Martin and Lewis” and “Helter Skelter,” both for CBS, and “The Hunley” for TNT.