Author T.J. Newman's New Book 'Drowning' Sparks Hollywood Bidding War

Author T.J. Newman's New Book 'Drowning' Sparks Hollywood Bidding War

June 2, 2023

T.J. Newman is on a journey from flight attendant to Hollywood scriptwriter — she wrote a book that became a bestseller, and now her second novel is getting turned into a screenplay, creating a bidding war in the process.

T.J. joined us on “TMZ Live” and told us all about her new book, “Drowning,” which comes out today … telling us why her story is so coveted by movie studios and big-shot Hollywood producers.

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Like her best-selling debut “Falling,” T.J.’s new novel takes place on an airplane … with the jetliner crashing into the ocean after taking off from Hawaii, trapping passengers in a cabin as it sinks beneath the waves. It’s aviation’s version of the famous “Poseidon Adventure.”

T.J. says she wanted to write about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances … and there was a bidding war for the movie rights, pitting Nicole Kidman against the likes of Steven Spielberg and Jerry Bruckheimer, plus the usual movie studio suspects.

In the end, Warner Bros. emerged victorious … shelling out $3 million and bringing T.J. along for the ride as an executive producer.

This makes T.J. 2-for-2 in Hollywood — her first novel, “Falling,” is also being turned into a movie after flying off the shelves … Universal Pictures paid $1.5 million for the movie rights to her best-selling debut novel, also winning a bidding war.

T.J. says she’s actually writing the screenplay for “Falling” … an honor she says is “bonkers” and a process that brings new challenges.

It’s an incredible success story, and T.J. tells us why folks should feel safe if they see her on their flight.

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