Studio Crook has acquired the television rights to Simon James Green’s comic novel GAY CLUB!

Studio Crook landed the deal ahead of the US publication of GAY CLUB! by Scholastic next month.

The Brighton-based indie, founded in 2021 by former managing director of Crook Productions, Matt Crook, also optioned Phil Earle’s World War II novel, When the Sky Falls in February.

GAY CLUB! tells the story of the battle to become the president of Greenacre Academy’s LGBTQ+ society with character Barney a shoo-in until voting is opened up to the whole school and chaos ensues as scandal, sleazy shenanigans and some serious shade comes think and fast. GAY CLUB! is a manifesto for change, with a positive, comic, universal message at its heart.

The TV pilot of GAY CLUB! has been written by Simon James Green and his script writing partner for the series, Sarah Counsell. Justine Potter, Head of Scripted for Studio Crook, said: “We’re excited to have acquired the rights to adapt GAY CLUB! for TV not just because it has been a huge hit in the UK and is now taking the USA by storm and not just because we fell in love with Simon’s writing and his joyous characters.  Not even because of the many awards the novel has received but because GAY CLUB! unashamedly celebrates and perfectly captures the pain, the fear, the joy and the hilarity of that coming of age coming out period in a young person’s life with such skill and it resonated personally with us all.

“We want TV audiences to fall in love with Barney and the gang as much as we did, and Simon and Sarah Counsell’s stellar script has allowed us to really expand upon the world of the novel and spread the love and laughter to new audiences at a time when LGBTQ+ stories are being challenged in the US, UK and other countries around the World.

“At such a terrifying time for LGBTQ+ rights in the USA, we’re right behind Scholastic launching it as a lead title in America and this show promises to bring joy to audiences everywhere series on series.

“Studio Crook doesn’t just back great IP and brilliantly authored talent, we choose works that have something to say about life in the UK that resonates on a global stage, with accessible and identifiable characters audiences want to fall for.  Acquiring this was a no brainer and adds to a number of exciting new titles and shows to the company.”

Author Simon James Green says: “I’m thrilled to be working with the brilliant team at Studio Crook to bring the world of GAY CLUB! alive on screen.

“GAY CLUB! is a celebration of universal teen friendships and the LGBTQ+ community, showcasing the love, the humour, and the messiness of LGBT relationships, while affectionately satirizing some of the more ridiculous elements of modern life and political discourse which none of us can escape from. It’s a delicious car crash of teenage hormones, sex, politics, gossip, bitching and backstabbing, but in a world of increasing anti-LGBT bigotry it’s also a clarion call – for unity and for activism – because all it takes for hate to win is for good people to do nothing.”

Executive Editor at Scholastic UK, Linas Alsenas, says: “Simon is a massively talented writer with a lot of important things to say, so we at Scholastic are over the moon about this deal. GAY CLUB! is jam-packed with hilarious and heartfelt moments that are perfect for adapting for the screen, and it’s thrilling to think that many more people will come to discover Simon’s novels in this way.”


Jon Creamer

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