Variety Exclusive: Producer and TaleFlick CEO Uri Singer Nabs Rights to Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Hocus Pocus’
Uri Singer has obtained the rights to Hocus Pocus by legendary author Kurt Vonnegut. He is developing the 1990 novel as either a film or a limited series.
Singer is currently producing a film adaptation of another literary giant, Don DeLillo’s White Noise, which Noah Baumbach is directing for Netflix with Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig attached to star. He is also producing The King of Oil with John Krasinski’s Sunday Night with Matt Damon attached to play the lead role. That film has been set up at Universal.
Hocus Pocus follows a college professor named Eugene who gets fired after having several of his witticisms surreptitiously recorded by the daughter of a popular conservative commentator. Eugene then becomes a teacher at a nearby overcrowded prison. After a massive prison break, Eugene’s former college is occupied by escapees from the prison, who take the staff hostage. Eventually, the college is turned into a prison since the old prison was destroyed in the breakout. Eugene is ordered to be the warden of the prison but then becomes an inmate, via the same type of “hocus pocus” that led to his dismissal from his professorship.
“Kurt Vonnegut has a massive following and a huge fan base (me included), and I am happy to confront the challenge of adapting his work, keeping the integrity of his wit and humor,” Singer said. “There are multiple ways to crack it, as a feature or a limited series. Regardless of the format, the adaption of ‘Hocus Pocus’ will stay true to the themes of the story while updating it for modern times.”
The rights to the novel were obtained from Katie Cacouris at the Wylie agency who reps Kurt Vonnegut’s estate. The project is currently out to directors.
Singer is repped by Cohen & Gardner. His other producing credits include the Ethan Hawke-led Tesla and Marjorie Prime starring Geena Davis and Jon Hamm.
Hocus Pocus is in development already, and details of the process will be seen in upcoming news. Until then, you can submit your own story - a novel, screenplay, graphic novel, short story or article - to be evaluated for adaptation.