Lionsgate Boards Helen Hoang Romance ‘The Kiss Quotient’ From Pilgrim Media Group — AFM

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Lionsgate has bolstered its AFM sales lineup with romance The Kiss Quotient, based on the well-received 2018 book by Helen Hoang.

Combining elements of 50 Shades Of GreyPretty Woman and Crazy Rich AsiansThe Kiss Quotient follows Stella, a brilliant econometrician on the autism spectrum who knows everything about algorithms but nothing about romance. In an effort to grow comfortable with the idea of dating, she hires a male escort to help her better understand relationships — but she doesn’t expect that they will find themselves completely entranced by one another.

Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group is collaborating on the project’s development and production with subsidiary production house Pilgrim Media Group, which won screen rights to the novel in a competitive situation earlier this year shortly after it was published by Penguin Random House imprint Berkley Jove Trade Paperback Originals. A screenwriter has yet to be set.

In 2016, Hoang was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, also known as Asperger syndrome, and her experience inspired her to write the breakout book. In the novel, the escort character Michael is Vietnamese-Swedish and the story features a fair amount of his family and their Vietnamese culture.

Pilgrim’s founder, President and CEO Craig Piligian, and Pilgrim Media Head of Scripted Content, Lauren Pfeiffer, are producers. The expectation is that Lionsgate will release domestically.

The deal was negotiated for Lionsgate by Dan Freedman, EVP of Business & Legal Affairs, Motion Picture Group, and for Pilgrim by COO and General Counsel Gretchen Stockdale; SVP of Business and Legal Affairs David Harris; and by Paul Hasting’s Craig Emanuel.

Lionsgate’s AFM slate also includes Todd Haynes-Participant Media project Dry Run, about a corporate attorney who takes on chemical giant DuPont and risks his job and family to expose a decades-long conspiracy, and Aneesh Chaganty’s thriller Run set to star Sarah Paulson.