From the resurgence of chick-lit to the continuing appeal of the thriller franchise, these are the hot genres for film adaptation in 2007.
'Producers are still asking for the new Bourne Identity - but there aren't many of those around,' says Nick Harris of Rwsh. He is backed up by Rebecca Watson of Valerie Hoskins Associates: 'Franchise is still the magic word - authors who can build a profile across a series of books.'
Roz Kidd, head of development at UK TV production outfit SMG, which has produced UK detective series Rebus and Taggart, says: 'We keep a sharp eye on the crime-writing scene in Britain, and we'll also look at Scandinavian crime, as long as it is a strong enough story to be re-set in Britain.'
After The Constant Gardener and Syriana, producers are scouring books for intelligent but accessible political thrillers. 'Audiences are very politically savvy and more aware of global issues now,' says Tally Garner of Curtis Brown. Rwsh's Harris, who was behind The Last King Of Scotland deal, sees an 'increased desire from producers to get their hands on that kind of material'.
Books longlisted for the big literary prizes and the Richard & Judy book club on UK TV continue to be snapped up by film and TV companies. 'The holy grail is always intelligent, funny books,' says Katherine Butler of Film4.
There is a renewed desire for 'very smart chick lit', according to Valerie Hoskins' Watson. 'People got excited after The Devil Wears Prada and are looking at this genre again.' The next major project may be from a book by Brit star author Sophie Kinsella; all her titles are under option with an array of producers.
'After a glut when a lot of dross was sold, there's a move back to rom-coms,' says Lucinda Prain of the William Morris Agency. There is also a desire for serious, grown-up love stories. 'The world is looking for the next big romantic novel to make into a movie,' Hoskins adds. 'There's a massive appetite but I don't know where it is going to come from.'
Children's and family literary properties continue to be popular across an array of formats, styles and genres. Julian Friedmann of Blake Friedmann, notes heavy interest in boys action adventure, partly fuelled by an educational push. He also points to more animation, after reductions in the cost of animation production, as well as growth in comic books and computer games. These in turn are influencing authors.
Some agents are still riding the horror wave, highlighting a desire for 'postmodern' horror. But Lucinda Prain believes the glut of low-budget horror movies is coming to an end: 'Those going into production now are the last we'll see for a while.'