HOLLYWOOD--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Following on the heels of the recent Cannes Palme d’Or Award going to lesbian love story Blue is the Warmest Color, the tremendous success of HBO’s original film Behind the Candelabra and Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling, Patricia Nell Warren has gained back all the film and television rights to her New York Times best-seller “The Front Runner.” Now that Warren is once again the sole owner of the rights, she is looking for the right producer.
First published in 1974, “The Front Runner” was a ground-breaking novel ahead of its time. Paul Newman optioned the film rights in 1975 and over the years, the story has been picked up by several well-known producers. This past year, Warren dissolved the partnership with her long-time business partner thus completing her process of reclaiming sole ownership and control of the film and television rights.
“It’s been a long race to get to this point with ‘The Front Runner,’” commented Warren. “However, I believe that the time is finally right for the story to be translated to film and for audiences to really embrace it the way it was meant to be embraced.”
“The Front Runner” has a built-in global audience. It has been published in 11 languages with book sales at well over 10 million copies worldwide and has never been out of print. It was the first gay-themed novel to make the prestigious New York Times bestseller’s list and the first gay themed novel to actually print the word “gay” on the cover. The book inspired an international organization of running and walking clubs dubbed The International FrontRunners. Outsports.com named the publication of the book the #4 moment in their list of 100 Greatest Moments in Gay Sports History and as recently as this year, Warren was named a “Pioneer” of LGBT literature by the Lambda Literary Foundation.
“The Front Runner” takes place in the 1970s, in a time when the U.S. is exploding with change. Ex-Marine Harlan Brown, 39, is a hardshell conservative and coaches track at a small obscure college. Brown has given up his dream of coaching Olympic athletes and buried himself there because he's gay and in the closet. His fear of exposure was the reason why he had left a more prestigious job at Penn State. Coaching big-time athletes might bring attention to his private life and his secret.
A bombshell is dropped when he has the chance to coach distance runner Billy Sive, 22. Billy is talented, with Olympic potential, but he's destroying himself with incorrect training. He's also gay and his plans to "come out" in that grand manner of the new generation are unknown to Harlan. Brown reluctantly agrees to coach Sive. But as he argues about the training with his protege, he's horrified to find they are falling in love with each other. As rumors about a relationship between the two men start spreading, the moralistic elements in the sports world make it clear that they'll stop at nothing to keep Sive and his coach from representing America at the Olympic Games.
Patricia Nell Warren has written and published professionally since 1954. In 59 years, the subjects of her books and articles have ranged from women and Goddess Earth to human rights; from gay life to wildlife; from the environment to current events. Now 77 years old, she was born in 1936 and raised on a Montana ranch. She worked as a Reader's Digest book editor for 15 years, on both the magazine staff and the Condensed Book Club. Today Warren lives in Glendale, CA, where she owns an independent book-publishing and media company, Wildcat International and Wildcat Press.
Warren followed “The Front Runner” with two critically-acclaimed and best-selling sequels -- “Harlan’s Race” and “Billy’s Boy.” Currently, Warren has published a total of 10 books and is writing the fourth and final sequel to “The Front Runner.”