Former studio executives Foster Driver and Zoe Kent have set up an adaptation of LGBT-themed sci-fi YA novel The Temperature of Me and You at Disney +, with Alden Derck on board to pen the project, which is intended to be a series.
The move follows on the very recent formation of their production banner, Driver + Kent Media, and their signing with Verve for representation.
The debut novel from Brian Zepka, a public health advocate and researcher, Temperature, which hit shelves Jan. 25 from Disney-Hyperion, is described as a story of first love, journey of trust and identity, and a ticking clock for survival.
It tells of a 16-year-old boy named Dylan pining for love while working shifts at a Dairy Queen in the suburbs of Philadelphia. In walks Jordan, a cute boy who happens to live life at a 110 degrees Fahrenheit. After the two begin spending time together, Dylan finds himself catching a fever and coughing flames, with Jordan forced to reveal his out-of-this-world secret. The book has been generating its own heat in advance buzz as one of the YA titles to watch in 2022.
The project is now at the top of the slate at Driver + Kent, which has several in development as it targets stories across film, television, digital media and other forms of media on the horizon. The focus is “content that speaks to a global audience through the transformative lens of genre, sci-fi, fantasy and character-driven drama,” the duo said in a statement.
“We believe that all people are equal and deserve to experience content that reflects the world we live in today and the world we want to live in tomorrow,” they added.
Kent began his career at Skydance during the formative years of the company before joining Warner Bros. where she and Driver worked together as colleagues. At Warners, Kent was involved in Edge of Tomorrow and Argo. She then moved over to MGM where she worked on two of their biggest franchises, James Bond and Creed, before finally landing at Disney and reuniting with Driver. While at Disney, Kent was one of the executives behind the live-action adaptations of Cruella and the live-action takes on Mulan, and The Lion Kingthe latter grossing over $ 1.64 billion.
Driver began his studio career working at Warners and then became an exec at Columbia Pictures before joining Disney in 2014. There he helped to shepherd projects such as Pirates of the CaribbeanTim Burton’s take on Dumbo, The Lion King and Jungle Cruise. Most recently, Driver worked at Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society, where he helped develop multiple projects, among them Without Remorse and the untitled Val Zod / Superman project for DC.
Derck got his start in television as a writers’ assistant on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, where he wrote two episodes for the show’s final season and helped pen a few of its original songs. Most recently, Alden sold Student Bodies, a horror / comedy / musical series he created with writer-director Eli Craig, to Peacock. Prior to that, he set up a pilot titled Hita comedy set behind the scenes of the pop music world, at Hulu, which he co-wrote with Aline Brosh McKenna.
Derck is repped by Verve, Wet Dog Entertainment and Hirsch Wallerstein.