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#Imagine Nabs TV Rights to Author Ashley Winstead’s ‘Midnight Is the Darkest Hour’ (Exclusive)

Imagine Entertainment has pre-emptively acquired the television rights for the latest novel from author Ashley Winstead.

The Ron Howard- and Brian Grazer-led company has optioned Midnight Is the Darkest Hour, a Southern gothic thriller, ahead of the book’s Oct. 3 publication by Sourcebooks Landmark. “Midnight is the Darkest Hour is evocative and haunting with an empowering message at its core,” said Kristen Zolner, president of television at Imagine. “We are thrilled to join Ashley on this journey to bring her incredible vision to the screen.”

The novel is set in a small Louisiana town haunted by a killer. Two outcasts, a preacher’s daughter and a boy from the wrong side of the tracks, hold the key to uncovering the truth. Midnight Is the Darkest Hour explores “the ways we’ve come to expect love, religion, and stories to save us, the lengths we have to go in order to take back power, and the monstrous work of being a girl in this world,” per the book’s description.

Imagine’s recent TV projects include Apple TV+’s Swagger, FX and Hulu’s Under the Banner of Heaven and David Letterman’s Netflix show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction (produced by Imagine-owned Jax Media).

Winstead has toggled between thrillers (In My Dreams I Hold a Knife and The Last Housewife, both of which have been optioned for development as streaming series) and romantic comedies (Fool Me Once, The Boyfriend Candidate) in her writing career. She’s set to follow up Midnight Is the Darkest Hour with a romantic drama titled Future Saints that will publish in 2024. She is repped by UTA and Melissa Edwards at Stonesong Literary.

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