Netflix In Talks For ‘Anna O’ Series Adaptation From Berlanti Productions & Author Matthew Blake

EXCLUSIVE: In a competitive situation, Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television have acquired the rights to Matthew Blake’s debut crime thriller novel Anna O. The series adaptation is in the process of being set up at Netflix for development, sources tell Deadline.

Blake is executive producing alongside Berlanti Prods.’ Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Leigh Redman. Reps for Netflix and WBTV, where Berlanti Prods. is under a deal, declined comment.

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The high-concept thriller steeped in mystery follows the investigation of Dr. Benedict Prince, an expert in sleep-related homicide, into the case of the inexplicable Anna O, who murdered two people in cold blood four years ago and hasn’t woken up since.

Anna O is looking to succeed another Berlanti Prods./WBTV thriller series for Netflix, hit You, which is headed into its fifth and final season.

Blake burst into the literary scene with Anna O, which sparked a worldwide bidding war on submission in 2022 and secured three separate seven-figure deals alongside record-breaking auctions and pre-empts in a total of 40 territories. In North America, the book was published on Jan. 2, 2024 by Harper Collins US/ Harper Canada to strong reviews.

For Blake, who worked in politics for ten years before becoming a full-time writer, sleep became a focus based on the fact that the average person spends 33 years of their lives doing it. He began extensive research into sleep-related crimes and the mystery illness known as resignation syndrome that poses the question: if someone commits murder while sleepwalking, are they innocent or guilty?

That was the impetus for Anna O. In 2019, Anna Ogilvy was a budding 25-year-old writer with a bright future ahead of her. Then, one night, she stabbed two people to death with no apparent motive and hasn’t woken up since. Her deep sleep is known by neurologists as ‘resignation syndrome,’ a rare functional psychosomatic disorder. The tabloid press dubs her ‘Sleeping Beauty.’

Fast forward to the present day. Dr. Benedict Prince is a forensic psychologist and an expert in the field of sleep-related homicides. As Anna shows the first signs of stirring, Dr. Benedict must determine what really happened that night and whether or not she should be held criminally responsible for her actions when she finally wakes up.

In addition to You, Berlanti Productions has the upcoming supernatural series Dead Boy Detectives at Netflix. The company is repped by CAA. Blake is repped by CAA and Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV & Film Agency.

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