Outside Counsel

Understanding the Book or Screenplay Option Agreement

, New York Law Journal


Wallace Collins writes: An option agreement at its most basic is a contract whereby the writer grants to a producer, production company or studio, for a period of time and for a payment, the right to make a film of the writer's book, story or screenplay. The three main material issues that usually arise in negotiating such a deal are the length of the option period, the amount of the option payment and the purchase price if the project comes to fruition. How each of these issues will be resolved will vary depending on the negotiating leverage of the respective parties.

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