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Amazon Studios Options First Novel, Self-Published Southern Gothic 'SEED'

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood October 3, 2012 at 2:26PM

Amazon's original content branch Amazon Studios has optioned the rights for author Ania Ahlborn's "SEED," a self-published Southern Gothic horror novel centering on a man whose malignant supernatural past catches up with him following a car accident. This is the first novel option for the studio, which has heretofore optioned only movie scripts and episodic series.
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SEED

Amazon's original content branch Amazon Studios has optioned the rights for author Ania Ahlborn's "SEED," a self-published Southern Gothic horror novel centering on a man whose malignant supernatural past catches up with him following a car accident. This is the first novel option for the studio, which has heretofore optioned only movie scripts and episodic series.

Official synopsis of "SEED":

With nothing but the clothes on his back—and something horrific snapping at his heels—Jack Winter fled his rural Georgia home when he was still just a boy. Watching the world he knew vanish in a trucker’s rearview mirror, he thought he was leaving an unspeakable nightmare behind forever. But years later, the bright new future he’s built suddenly turns pitch black, as something fiendishly familiar looms dead ahead.

When Jack, his wife Aimee, and their two small children survive a violent car crash, it seems like a miracle. But Jack knows what he saw on the road that night, and it wasn’t divine intervention. The profound evil from his past won’t let them die…at least not quickly. It’s back, and it’s hungry; ready to make Jack pay for running, to work its malignant magic on his angelic youngest daughter, and to whisper a chilling promise: I’ve always been here, and I’ll never leave.

Only in its second year, Amazon studios has been busily building up its in-the-works content, tapping creative talent in a number of ways, and reinventing entertainment industry production models in the process. In June the studio hired horror filmmaker and "Hellraiser" creator Clive Barker to develop "Zombies vs. Gladiators," while in May studio head Roy Price announced an open invite to writers and filmmakers to submit their original series content proposals; this followed the February announcement of the 2011 Best Movie and Best Script Awards contest.

Amazon is proving its hunger for content. This works because so many content creators are in turn hungry for alternative models outside of the dinosaur studio system.

This article is related to: Amazon, Digital Future, News


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.