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20th & Ryan Coogler’s Proximity Media Adapting ‘California Bear’ Novel From Gary Lennon & Duane Swierczynski

Client: Proximity Media – Production Company

20th has landed the rights to a feature adaptation of the New York Times bestselling novel California Bear from Duane Swierczynski. Gary Lennon will write the feature alongiside Swierczynski with Ryan Coogler’s Proximity Media producing, sources tell Deadline.

Swierczynski’s latest novel is a thriller that follows four unlikely vigilantes whose decision to take justice into their own hands pits them against the villain behind California’s coldest murder case.

California Bear is 20th’s first project with Proximity. Rashonda Joplin, 20th’s Director of Production, and Catherine Hughes, Creative Executive, will be shepherding the project. 20th’s Head of Literary Affairs, Clare Reeth was instrumental in bringing the book into the studio. Ryan Coogler, Zinzi Coogler, Sev Ohanian produce through their company, Proximity Media. Rebecca Cho will exec produce and oversee the project along with Hannah Levy for Proximity Media.

In March, Lennon extended his development deal with Lionsgate Television and was previously under an overall deal at Starz. Currently, he is the showrunner and executive producer of the Power spinoff series Power Book IV: Force continuing his work from Season 2 and is in production on the third and final installment of the Chicago-based crime drama. He was also executive producer of the mothership series for Starz which earned him two NAACP Image Awards. Additionally, he’s partnered with Lionsgate Television on P-Valley and Hightown for Starz and the hit Netflix series Orange Is the New Black. Lennon is represented by CAA, M88 and attorney Erik Hyman.

Swierczynski is the New York Times bestselling and two-time Edgar-nominated author of 15 novels including Expiration Date, Canary and the forthcoming California Bear, as well as the graphic novels Breakneck and Redhead. Along with James Patterson, he co-created the Audible Original The Guilty and co-wrote the private eye thriller Lion & Lamb. He’s also written more than 250 comic books including Deadpool, The Immortal Iron Fist, Punisher, Birds of Prey and Star Wars: Rogue One. His first short story collection, Lush & Other Tales of Boozy Mayhem, was recently published by Cimarron Street Books. Swierczynski is represented by Story Driven and McKuin, Frankel Whitehead.

Proximity Media’s film projects include two-time Academy Award-winning Judas and the Black Messiah, Space Jam: A New Legacy and Creed III which grossed over $275M theatrically. Upcoming, Proximity is currently in production on Ryan Coogler’s untitled event film for Warner Bros. starring Michael B. Jordan. It’s set for a March 2025 IMAX release. Additionally, the company is in post-production on Marvel’s Ironheart miniseries. Proximity also produced the documentary Homeroom with Hulu, co-produced Stephen Curry: Underrated with Apple Original Films, A24 and Unanimous Media, as well as Anthem, with Onyx Collective as part of the company’s overall deal with Disney Television. They are repped by WME and Jonathan Gardner, Esq.


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