Lance Bass Producing ‘Matzah Ball’ Film Adaptation – Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: Sugar23 has optioned the rights to author Jean Meltzer’s first novel, The Matzah Ball, with plans to develop as a feature film. Sugar23 will produce along with Lance Bass Productions, Brett Gursky and Ben Savage. Michael Sugar, Sugar 23’s Ashley Zalta and Bass will serve as producers. Meltzer, Gursky, Lance Bass Productions’ Drew Pokorny, Savage and Sugar23’s Jillian Kay will serve as executive producers.

The book is an alternative holiday love story, follows chronically-ill Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt a “nice Jewish girl‚” with a secret: she loves Christmas. As the best-selling author of over twenty Christmas romance novels, and four made-for-TV movie spin-offs, she’s kept her stellar career secret from her observant Jewish family for over a decade. But when Rachel’s publishing house tells her they won’t renew her contract unless she writes them a Hanukkah romance, she’s desperate for inspiration. She finds it in the form of the Matzah Ball, a high-end Jewish music celebration scheduled for the last night of Hanukkah. There is only one problem: tickets are sold out and the only way to get one is direct from the ball’s creator, who just happens to be Jacob Greenberg, her summer camp arch enemy.

“As a chronically-ill Jewish woman who has been homebound for almost a decade, optioning The Matzah Ball is nothing short of a dream come true. I couldn’t be more excited to partner with Lance Bass, Brett Gursky, Ben Savage, Michael Sugar, and the incredible team at Sugar23. I know that their creative vision, combined with their many years of film and television expertise, will turn The Matzah Ball into an instant holiday classic,” said Meltzer.

The Matzah Ball was published by MIRA on September 28, 2021. The book was warmly received and Popsugar, Buzzfeed and Bustle each named it one of their most highly anticipated titles of 2021. The novel was also named an Apple Best Audio Book of the Year and a Jewish Book Council Book of the Month Pick.

“When we first read Jean’s book, we all immediately saw the movie coming to life, and were passionate from the jump about getting involved. With Jean’s source material combined with the team that we’ve assembled, we’re confident that the film will not only become a beloved rom-com, but an instant holiday classic…only this time centered around Hanukkah” said Sugar, Bass, Savage and Gursky.

UTA brokered the deal on behalf of Carolyn Forde and Marilyn Biderman at Transatlantic Agency, who represent Meltzer.

Source: Deadline

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