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1. Taraji P. Henson Lands Role in the Hidden Figures Movie

Taraji P. Henson (GalleyCat)Taraji P. Henson will play the mathematician Katherine Johnson in the Hidden Figures movie. In the past, the actress (pictured,via) was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in the film adaptation of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

According to Variety, the story for this film adaptation comes from Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly. HarperCollins will publish this nonfiction book on Sept. 6.

Here’s more from The Hollywood Reporter: “Ted Melfi will direct the film about a group of black women who provided NASA with important mathematical data needed to launch the program’s first successful space missions. Fox is planning to release the film Jan. 13, 2017, to coincide with the Martin Luther King holiday weekend.” (via Bustle)

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2. Mary Ann Naples Joins the Disney Book Group as VP and Publisher

Disney Publishing Logo (GalleyCat)Mary Ann Naples has been hired as a vice president and publisher at the Disney Book Group. Her start date has been scheduled for Mar. 14.

Prior to this development, Naples was a senior vice president and publisher at Rodale Books and Rodale Wellness. In her new role, she will serve as a representative to a variety of different members of the industry, work with authors, and oversee business strategy moves for the group.

Naples gave this statement in the press release: “I am thrilled to join the Disney Book Group with its spectacular track record of success, its world-class brands, franchises, authors and illustrators, and its amazing team. Disney has always been at the forefront of innovation and creativity, and I can’t wait to build on the great work already done in the book group.”

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3. MasterClass to Host the ‘Co-Author a Book With James Patterson’ Writing Competition

Patterson_square_cropsmallMasterClass, an internet educational platform, will host a contest for aspiring writers to collaborate with bestselling author James Patterson. This competition will only be open to students who enroll in Patterson’s MasterClass writing course.

Patterson gave this statement in the press release: “There are a lot of people who have the talent, but haven’t been shown the door to walk through. I’ve been surprised and impressed by the passion, devotion and talent of my students. They inspired me to want to help guide one of them through the publishing process. I’m looking forward to reading the submissions that are skillful, fast-paced and unpredictable.”

The submission deadline has been set for March 22 at 11:59 p.m. PST. Patterson will select the winning co-author on May 24. Contestants who are chosen as semifinalists and finalists will also receive a cash prize. Follow this link to learn more information and read up on all the rules.

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4. The Underwoods Face Off in the New House of Cards Trailer

Netflix has unveiled a new promotional piece for the forthcoming season of House of Cards. The video embedded above offers glimpses of the wicked Frank Underwood (played by Kevin Spacey) and his estranged wife Claire Underwood (played by Robin Wright).

Entertainment Weekly reports that “the upcoming season will feature the Underwoods pursuing separate paths to power, and the 60-second trailer offers a peak at the Machiavellian schemes, sexually charged rendezvous, and violent outbursts along the way. It also glimpses new cast members including Ellen Burstyn, Joel Kinnaman, and Neve Campbell.”

USA Today reports that the thirteen new episodes of season four will be posted online on March 4. Click on these links to watch the first teaser, the second teaser, and the third teaser. (via Gizmodo)

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5. Aaron Sorkin to Adapt Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird For Broadway

To Kill a MockingbirdA theatrical production of To Kill a Mockingbird will open on Broadway. Scott Rudin, a famed producer, has acquired the stage adaptation rights.

According to PlaybillAaron Sorkin, an Oscar-winning screenwriter, has agreed to adapt Harper Lee’s beloved novel for the script. Bartlett Sher, a Tony Award-winning director, has signed on to take the helm of this show.

The Wall Street Journal reports that “the move marks a reversal for Lee, who after To Kill a Mockingbird was published told her agent she didn’t want there to be a Broadway adaptation of the novel, according to correspondence in the archives of her former agent at Columbia University.” Last year, Lee shocked fans with a To Kill a Mockingbird sequel entitled Go Set a Watchman. HarperCollins published that book in July 2015. (via The New York Times)

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6. Jay Asher to Write a New Young Adult Novel

Jay Asher 200 (GalleyCat)Jay Asher has signed a deal with Penguin Young Readers. In the past, he has written two young adult novels: Thirteen Reasons Why and The Future of Us (a collaboration with Carolyn Mackler).

According to The Associated Press, Asher (pictured, via) has finished a contemporary romance novel entitled What Light. He drew inspiration to write this story “after reading about a family in Oregon with a Christmas tree lot.”

This young adult book will be Asher’s “first solo work of fiction in nearly a decade.” The publication date has been scheduled for Oct. 11. (via The New York Times)

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7. Kelly Clarkson Inks Picture Book Deal With HarperCollins

Kelly Clarkson has signed a deal with HarperCollins Children’s Books. The singer has become well-known as a three-time Grammy Award-winning recording artist and the winner of the 2002 season of American Idol.

According to The Seattle Times, Laura Hughes will serve as the illustrator on this project. The publication date for River Rose and the Magical Lullaby has been set for October 2016.

Clarkson posted a video about this picture book on her social media page; we’ve embedded her Twitter post above. TIME reports that “the story follows a little girl who’s too excited about the next day’s zoo visit to fall asleep, until her mom sings her a lullaby that gives her dreams about playing with hippos, penguins and other zoo creatures.”

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8. Behind-the-Scenes of the 11/22/63 Mini-Series

Hulu has unleashed a behind-the-scenes video for the 11/22/63 mini-series. In the video embedded above, Stephen King, the author behind the 11/22/63 novel, talks about the inspiration behind his alternative history story.

Members of the cast include James FrancoChris Cooper, Josh Duhamel, Lucy Fry, Sarah Gadon, and Cherry Jones. Franco’s character embarks on a time-traveling quest to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Entertainment Weekly reports that the air date for the first of eight episodes has been scheduled for Feb. 15. Follow these links to watch the first teaser, the second teaser, and the full trailer. (via Slash Film)

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9. Scholastic to Publish a Book With the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Script

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Art (GalleyCat)Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint at Scholastic, will publish a hardcover book based on the special rehearsal edition script for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I & II. The release has been scheduled for 12:01 a.m. on July 31; fans will recognize that this significant date is both Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling’s birthday. Pottermore will publish the eBook edition.

Here’s more from the press release: “It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.”

Jack ThorneJohn Tiffany, and Rowling worked on the story for this theatrical production together. Back in October 2015, Rowling announced on Pottermore that this project will serve as the eighth story of her beloved book series. The opening date for the West End show has been set for July 30, 2016.

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10. Most College Students Prefer Print to E-Books

Ninety-two percent of U.S. college students prefer print books to e-books, according to new research.

The numbers come from a four year study led by American University’s linguistics professor Naomi Baron who is also the authors of Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World.

The research includes feedback from more than 420 university students from the U.S., Slovakia, Japan and Germany in 2010 and 2013. Tech Times has more:

The team also found that the main reason why students used e-books was because they were cheaper than the traditional paper book versions. It wasn’t always because it was easier to use or lighter to carry but some of the survey’s open answers included space saving reasons and convenience. When it comes to preference, paper trumps the screen.

(Via The Los Angeles Times).

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11. Doug the Pug Inks Book Deal

51XRBqWk3HL._SX390_BO1,204,203,200_Internet sensation Doug the Pug has inked a book deal.

His owners Leslie Mosier and Rob Chianelli are working on a photo book called, Doug the Pug: The King of Pop Culture, for St. Martin’s Griffin. The title will feature shots of the popular Internet dog in his living room and out on the town with celebrities, among other things.

The book is slated for a November release, but is already attracting presales on Amazon. The title is already No. 1 in Dog Care books. The pug has more than 5 million social media followers across the various networks.

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12. Kickstarter Has Funded 100K Projects

Crowd-funding site Kickstarter has successfully funded 100,000 projects.

The 100,000th project to reach its goal is a photo piece called “Falklands/Malvinas: One War, all Wars”.

Several of these successes were in publishing, comics and journalism. For instance, the site helped to fund 3,521 comic books and comics related events. In addition, Kickstarter fund a collection of lost poems by Chilean poet and Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda which will be published by Copper Canyon Press. Follow this link for more interesting facts about Kickstarter successes.

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13. A Shade of Vampire Leads the Self-Published Bestsellers List

A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest continues to lead the Self-Published Bestsellers List this week.

To help GalleyCat readers discover self-published authors, we compile weekly lists of the top e-books in two major marketplaces for self-published digital books: Amazon and Smashwords. You can read all the lists below, complete with links to each book.

If you want more resources as an author, try our Free Sites to Promote Your eBook post, How To Sell Your Self-Published Book in Bookstores post and our How to Pitch Your Book to Online Outlets post.

If you are an independent author looking for support, check out our free directory of people looking for writers groups.

Amazon Self-Published Bestsellers for the Week of February 10, 2016

1. A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest: “On the evening of Sofia Claremont’s seventeenth birthday, she is sucked into a nightmare from which she cannot wake. A quiet evening walk along a beach brings her face to face with a dangerous pale creature that craves much more than her blood.”

2. PS…You’re Mine by Alexa Riley: “Katie Lovely signs up her class for a project, writing letters to Marines serving overseas, but a calculation error means she has to participate along with the class. She isn’t prepared for what happens after she gets the first letter.”

3. Broken Wings by Abigail Graham: “Ten years ago, I had the perfect life. A happy family, a loving boyfriend, a bright future. Then the accident took everything away. I woke up broken and scarred, my family destroyed. My boyfriend, Jack, gone.”

4. A Shade of Vampire 2: A Shade of Blood by Bella Forrest: “Having been delighted by the bestselling debut, A Shade of Vampire, readers are begging for more. In A Shade of Blood, Bella Forrest transports you deeper into a unique, enthralling and beautifully sensitive story. Prepare to be lost in its pages…”

5. A Shade of Vampire 3: A Castle of Sand by Bella Forrest: “What Sofia has with Derek feels like a sandcastle; temporary and something that the waves of life and time will soon ruin…Since the return of Gregor Novak, the island has turned several shades darker. His hatred toward Sofia and thirst for fresh blood lead to a brutal war igniting between father and son.”

6. Hold by Cora Brent: “They all said we were trash and would end up dead or in prison.
They were wrong. The three of us brothers endured hell together and somehow climbed out battle-scarred but whole.”

7. Vacation by Claire Adams: “Vivian Hall is soon to graduate from NYU, and she can’t wait. After being dumped by her long-term boyfriend, she’s looking forward to moving on with her life. Her best friend wants to have one more spring break trip, and though the circumstances aren’t at all ideal, Viv agrees.”

8. No More Secrets by Lucy Score: “In the small town of Blue Moon Bend, where everybody is a matchmaker, Carter wants to be left alone to tend the family farm. After returning from Afghanistan with scars, his only goal is recovery. He doesn’t need any distractions, and definitely not one with silver-blonde hair and lips that beg to be kissed.”

9. Wrong: A Bad Boy Romance by Katherine Lace: “Wrong? Hell yeah, it’s wrong. Wise guys never live by the rules, but there’s one you don’t break. I’m not a damn bit sorry. I’m done with one-night stands. I need a family to call my own. A wife. A kid.”

10. The Baller: A Down and Dirty Football Novel by Vi Keeland: “The first time I met Brody Easton was in the men’s locker room. It was my first interview as a professional sportscaster. The famed quarterback decided to bare all. And by all, I don’t mean he told me any of his secrets.”

Smashwords Self-Published Bestsellers for the Week of February 10, 2016


1. Health Promotion Pathways: Applied Activities for the Collegiate Classroom 

2. Enhancing Performance: Mental Training for Coaches, Athletes, and Parents 

3. Neuropsychopharmacology: A Tutorial Study Guide (box set) 

4. Naturally Flawless: A holistic approach to clear skin 

5. Principles of Biology: Animal Systems: A Tutorial Study Guide (box set) 

6. Economics for Smart Citizenship 

7. Nonprofit Animal Law 

8. Negotiating for Success: Essential Strategies and Skills 

9. English Grammar and Essay Writing, Workbook 2 

10. Digital Media Skills 

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14. Me Before You Leads iBooks Bestsellers List

cover225x225-1Me Before You by Jojo Moyes has joined the iBooks Bestsellers List this week at No. 1.

Apple has released the list of Bestselling iBooks from the week of 2/7/16. January by Audrey Carlan is No. 2 on the list and The Choice by Nicholas Sparks held the No. 3 position.

We have the entire list for you after the jump.

iBooks US Bestseller List – Paid Books 02/7/16

1. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – 9781101606377 – (Penguin Publishing Group)
2. January by Audrey Carlan – No ISBN Available – (Waterhouse Press)
3. The Choice by Nicholas Sparks – 9780446401319 – (Grand Central Publishing)
4. Brotherhood in Death by J. D. Robb – 9780698161481 – (Penguin Publishing Group)
5. Breakdown by Jonathan Kellerman – 9780345541413 – (Random House Publishing Group)
6. When Breath Becomes Air by Abraham Verghese & Paul Kalanithi – 9780812988413 – (Random House Publishing Group)
7. April by Audrey Carlan – No ISBN Available – (Waterhouse Press)
8. NYPD Red 4 by James Patterson & Marshall Karp – 9780316288729 – (Little, Brown and Company)
9. July by Audrey Carlan – No ISBN Available – (Waterhouse Press)
10. August by Audrey Carlan – No ISBN Available – (Waterhouse Press)
11. February by Audrey Carlan – No ISBN Available – (Waterhouse Press)
12. September by Audrey Carlan – No ISBN Available – (Waterhouse Press)
13. Depraved Heart by Patricia Cornwell – 9780062325426 – (William Morrow)
14. October by Audrey Carlan – No ISBN Available – (Waterhouse Press)
15. November by Audrey Carlan – No ISBN Available – (Waterhouse Press)
16. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – 9781466850606 – (St. Martin’s Press)
17. December by Audrey Carlan – No ISBN Available – (Waterhouse Press)
18. Blue by Danielle Steel – 9780804179652 – (Random House Publishing Group)
19. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins – 9780698185395 – (Penguin Publishing Group)
20. My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout – 9780812989076 – (Random House Publishing Group)

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15. Marie Ferrarella Lands 12-Book Deal With Harlequin

harlequin304Marie Ferrarella has signed a six-figure deal with Harlequin. She plans to write twelve novels.

Patience Bloom, a senior editor, managed this acquisition project. She will edit all of Ferrarella’s manuscripts.

Here’s more from the press release: “Ferrarella will craft two contemporary romance series for Harlequin—Matchmaking Mamas for Harlequin Special Edition and Cavanaugh Justice for Harlequin Romantic Suspense. The first title in the deal, The Case of the Stolen Heart follows a widow who finds a second chance at love with a police officer who was present at her late husband’s crime scene. The Case of the Stolen Heart is set to be published in Fall 2016.”

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16. Jason Bourne First Look Video Unleashed

Universal Pictures unveiled a first look video for the Jason Bourne movie during the Super Bowl. The video embedded above offers glimpses of Matt Damon taking on the the titular role.

According to Variety, other members of the cast include Julia Stiles, Alicia Vikander, and Tommy Lee Jones. The story for this film adaptation comes from the thriller book series written by Robert Ludlum and Eric Van Lustbader.

USA Today reports that Paul Greengrass served as the director for this adaptation project. The theatrical release date has been scheduled for July 29. (via The A.V. Club)

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17. Cover Unveiled for New Arthur A. Levine Picture Book


The cover has been revealed for Arthur A. Levine’s forthcoming picture book, What a Beautiful Morning. We’ve embedded the full image for the jacket design above—what do you think?

According to School Library Journal, Katie Kath served as the illustrator for this project. Running Press Kids has scheduled the publication date for August 9.

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18. Filmmaker Creates a Donald Trump-Themed Picture Book

Can you imagine Donald Trump, a reality TV star and Republican presidential candidate, as a character in a children’s book? Guy Larsen, a filmmaker, decided to write one called Donald Trump and the Wig of Evil.

Larsen wrote a post about his picture book on Bored Panda and warned that it may be considered “a little NSFW” (Not Safe For Work). The video embedded above features his narration of his book.

Click here to visit Larsen’s Tumblr page and check out the full text and all the illustrations of the book. For more parody humor, follow these links to watch the “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Trump” video and a clip from the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show. (via The Huffington Post)

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19. N.Y. School Encourages Kids to Buy Books at School Store

Maspeth High School in Queens, NY is reportedly pushing students to buy books from its in-house bookstore, a practice that goes against state and city rules.

According to a report in The New York Post, the school encourages kids to buy specific editions of books and suggests that they buy them from the school book stores. The Post has the scoop:

New York Maspeth sells 45 different books, mostly for English, plus several for other classes such as social studies and chemistry. Prices start at $2 for Machiavelli’s “The Prince” and $3 for Dickens’ “Tale of Two Cities.” Six books cost $10 each, including “Brave New World,” “Black Boy,” and “The Great Gatsby.”

A spokesperson for the school claims that students are not required to shop in the school’s store.

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20. Author Margaret Forster Has Died

Author Margaret Forster has died at the age of 77, according to a report on BBC.com.

The award-winning novelist, known for Hidden Lives, Georgy Girl, Diary of an Ordinary Woman, and a biography about Daphne du Maurier, succumbed to cancer on Monday in London. BBC has more:

Forster died on Monday morning at the Marie Curie Hospice in north London.

Confirming her death, the couple’s daughter Caitlin Davies wrote on Twitter: “Our lovely mum Margaret Forster died this morning. Her books will live on.”

Born in 1938, Forster attended the Carlisle and County High School for Girls and then won an Open Scholarship to Somerville College, Oxford.

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21. Authors Guild Google Suit Could Reach Supreme Court

The Authors Guild’s dispute with Google over scanning copyrighted works could reach the Supreme Court.

The case began in 2005, when the writer’s group accused Google of “massive copyright infringement.” The case has had many twists and turns along the way. In October 2015, a judge upheld Google’s appeal that its efforts to scan millions of books for its digital library does not violate copyright law.

Now, publishers are petitioning the Supreme Court to hear the copyright-infringement case against Google brought by the Authors Guild. In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, Author’s Guild president Roxana Robinson explains why. Here is an excerpt:

Google claims that it would be “prohibitive” to pay the authors for using their work, but that’s not an acceptable response. Paying suppliers is simply a cost of doing business. It isn’t acceptable for one of the world’s richest companies to claim that it needn’t pay for content that plays such a crucial part in its financial success. Google depends on these texts to make its search engine one of the best in the world, and that superiority is what drives its ad revenues. Content draws traffic, and traffic drives ad revenues.

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22. Literary Events This Week: Jonathan Galassi and Yann Martel

High Mountains of Portugal Cover (GalleyCat)Here are some literary events to pencil in your calendar this week.

To get your event posted on our calendar, visit our Facebook Your Literary Event page. Please post your event at least one week prior to its date.

The next session of the Pen Parentis literary salon will feature four writers: Jonathan Galassi, Tia Williams, Emma McLaughlin, and Nicola Kraus. Hear them on Tuesday, Feb. 9 at Hotel Andaz starting 7 p.m. (New York, NY)

Steve Light will celebrate the launch of his new children’s book, Swap!, at Books of Wonder. Join in on Saturday, Feb. 13 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (New York, NY)

Yann Martel will discuss and sign copies of his newest novel, The Highest Mountains of Portugal, at McNally Jackson. Meet him on Saturday, Feb. 13 starting 5 p.m. (New York, NY)

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23. Amazon Reveals Most Romantic Cities in U.S.

Alexandria, Virginia is the most romantic city in America, according to Amazon.

The company has revealed its annual list of the Top 20 Most Romantic Cities in the U.S.

The company comes up with the list based on the sales data of romance novels, relationship books, as well as romantic movies and music from cities with more than 100,000 residents on a per capita basis.

Amazon’s Top 20 Most Romantic Cities 

  1. Alexandria, Va.                                    11. Atlanta, Ga.
  2. Miami, Fla.                          12. Salt Lake City, Utah
  3. Knoxville, Tenn.                          13. Scottsdale, Ariz.
  4. Orlando, Fla.                       14. Everett, Wash.
  5. Vancouver, Wash.                          15. Gainesville, Fla.
  6. Cincinnati, Ohio                           16. Seattle, Wash.
  7. Columbia, S.C.                    17. Wilmington, N.C.
  8. Pittsburgh, Pa.                    18. Rochester, N.Y.
  9. Round Rock, Texas                          19. Dayton, Ohio
  10. Ann Arbor, Mich.                          20. Bellevue, Wash.


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24. Stephan Pastis to Create the Fifth Timmy Failure Book

Timmy Failure Book 5 (GalleyCat)Stephan Pastis has signed a deal with Candlewick Press for Timmy Failure: The Book You’re Not Supposed to Have. This book will be the fifth installment of Pastis’ popular middle grade series.

Daniel Lazar, a literary agent at Writers House, negotiated this deal on Pastis’ behalf. The publisher has scheduled the release date for September 27.

Here’s more from the press release: “The most important thing to know about Timmy’s fifth memoir to date is: this book was never meant to EXIST. No one needs to know the details. Just know this: There’s a Merry, a Larry, a missing tooth, and a teachers’ strike that is crippling Timmy Failure’s academic future. Worst of all, Timmy is banned from detective work. It’s a conspiracy of buffoons.”

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25. Bryan Singer to Direct a 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea Movie

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (GalleyCat)Bryan Singer will direct a new 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea movie. The filmmaker has become well-known for his work on four X-Men films: X-Men, X-Men 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and X-Men: Apocalypse.

Here’s more from Deadline: “The adaptation of the Jules Verne novel has a script by Rick Sordelet and Dan Studney, based on a story by Singer and those writers. Singer will produce with Jason Taylor, who heads the director’s Bad Hat Harry Productions.”

According to Variety, Singer posted a photo of the script on his Instagram page. He revealed that he has aspired to shoot a movie based on Verne’s science-fiction book since childhood. Click here to download a digital copy of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. (via io9)

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