Writer Sells Screen Rights of First Novel to Tri-Star Pictures


Tri-Star Pictures has purchased the screen rights to Robert Ferrigno's first novel, "The Horse Latitudes," for an undisclosed sum.

The former newspaper feature writer's mystery novel, which is set in Long Beach and Orange County, will be producer Michael Shamberg's first project for Tri-Star. According to a story on Shamberg in Daily Variety this week, the producer of "A Fish Called Wanda" became interested in Ferrigno's book after reading an early rave review.

In a phone interview from his home in Long Beach, Ferrigno said he was asked not to say how much Tri-Star paid for the screen rights to his book.

But he did say he is " extremely pleased" with the deal. And, he said, he's impressed that Shamberg will be producing: "He's got a great reputation, and I loved 'A Fish Called Wanda.' "

Variety reported that a writer is being sought to write a screenplay for "The Horse Latitudes" and a completed script is expected by the end of the year.

Ferrigno said he had specified that he did not want to write the screenplay himself.

"I feel my time is more productive writing books," he said, adding that he is working on his second novel.

"The Horse Latitudes," which is already in its third printing, received a rave review in the current issue of The New Yorker. Although it has garnered favorable reviews in the New York Times, Time magazine and other major publications, it received a less-than-glowing review in the Los Angeles Times.

Said Ferrigno: "I figure I've had enough good ones I can stand the bad ones."

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