Sydney-based Mushroom Pictures has announced that it has optioned Craig Marriner's debut novel Stonedogs, which deals with gang and drug culture in a city resembling the author's home town of Rotorua in New Zealand.

The novel was the controversial winner of the Deutz Medal for Fiction at NZ's 2002 Montana Book Awards. Random House is due to publish it in Australia in January 2004.

Mushroom Pictures has been involved in Chopper, Horseplay and Cut, as well as Better Than Sex director Jonathan Teplitzky's upcoming second film Gettin' Square. The company is majority owned by one of the music industry's most successful entrepreneurs, Michael Gudinsky.