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Paul Mazur and Mitchell Kaplan Snatch Up Rights to ‘The Orphan Master’

Written by on April 26, 2012 

Paul Mazur and Mitchell Kaplan are following the growing trend of nabbing film rights to books that haven’t even hit shelves yet, as Deadline reports the duo will be transforming Jean Zimmerman‘s The Orphan Master into a feature film.

Although the book doesn’t hit until June, the plot does sound pretty intriguing. Check it out below (via Amazon):

It’s 1663 in the tiny, hardscrabble Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, now present-day southern Manhattan. Orphan children are going missing, and among those looking into the mysterious state of affairs are a quick-witted twenty-two-year-old trader, Blandine von Couvering, herself an orphan, and a dashing British spy named Edward Drummond.

Suspects abound, including the governor’s wealthy nephew, a green-eyed aristocrat with decadent tastes; an Algonquin trapper who may be possessed by a demon that turns people into cannibals; and the colony’s own corrupt and conflicted orphanmaster. Both the search for the killer and Edward and Blandine’s newfound romance are endangered, however, when Blandine is accused of being a witch and Edward is sentenced to hang for espionage. Meanwhile, war looms as the English king plans to wrest control of the colony.

Jean Zimmerman brings New Amsterdam and its surrounding wilderness alive for modern-day readers with exacting period detail. Lively, fast paced, and full of colorful characters, The Orphanmaster is a dramatic page-turner that will appeal to fans of Hilary Mantel and Geraldine Brooks.

Upon initial reaction to the title, I thought we had just another Orphange on our hands. However, as the synopsis shows — maybe a little too pompously, but hey — this book sounds pretty different and could end up making a worthwhile movie. Now, let’s see who this material can attract.

What are your initial reactions to The Orphan Master?

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