The Bookseller – Rights – Pan Mac captures screenwriter McCarten’s ‘tension-filled’ thriller amid global rights demand

Pan Macmillan signed go to zeroa new thriller from Oscar-nominated screenwriter and producer Anthony McCarten, which has now sold in over 20 languages.

Vicki Mellor, publishing director for fiction, has signed the UK and Commonwealth rights to Karolina Sutton at Curtis Brown on behalf of Jennifer Joe at ICM Partners.

Pan Macmillan will be published in the UK in hardback in April 2023, with a mainstream paperback in February 2024. The book will be published internationally by HarperCollins in the US. McCarten will also adapt and produce the novel for the screen.

go to zero focuses on 10 Americans chosen to participate in the beta test of Fusion, a high-tech partnership between the CIA and Cy Baxter, multi-billionaire and CEO of WordShare, the country’s most popular social network.

The synopsis explains: “At the appointed time, each of the candidates has two hours to ‘Go Zero’ – disappear – and then 30 days to evade the highly sophisticated capture teams, whose only mission is to find them and get them out of the Game. The stakes are high. For Cy, they consist of a multi-billion dollar contract with the government, giving him access to the combined intelligence and resources of the CIA, FBI and NSA, with which he can finally realize its vision of a safer future: real security.

“For all 10 entrants, evading capture and being victorious comes with a $3 million prize. But for Boston librarian Kaitlyn Day, the stakes are higher. She’s after something much more personal, something that can cost Cy everything…”

McCarten is a writer and producer of ‘The Theory of Everything’, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘The Two Popes’, twice Oscar nominated and twice Bafta winner, in addition to being a novelist and playwright. He is the original author ofdarkest hourboth the Oscar-winning film and the best-selling non-fiction book, published by Harper Perennial.

He said: “The realities of following someone and being followed; good but also harmful influences of digital technologies in our most personal spaces; of our diminishing control over our own personal data…these are some of the pressing questions at the heart of this book. Beyond that, I hope readers simply enjoy this story of a Boston librarian who takes on the system, looking for a way to outsmart it.

Mellor commented, “From its opening page, it was clear that this was a novel we had to publish. Anthony, whose experience and caliber shines through on every page, has delivered not only a tension-filled fantasy thriller that unfolds at an incredible pace, but one that examines our relationship with privacy and security in a way that shows how aware we all should be about what we do online without thought or potential repercussions. I couldn’t be more excited to post this brilliant novel on our list.

Sutton added, “Anthony McCarten is a master of the thriller and this one comes with the highest human stakes imaginable and dazzling pacing.”