Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Friday

July 12, 2013

Northern Michigan book being made into movie

PETOSKEY — “Bestseller,” an independent feature film based on the 2002 book of the same name by northern Michigan author Christopher Wright, will be shot in Petoskey and DeTour from July 15 to Aug. 3.

Rob Zabrecky — a Los Angeles-based actor who recently wrapped filming on the Detroit film set of Ryan Gosling’s “How to Catch a Monster” — will play the lead.

The film will be shot by a crew almost entirely from Michigan, said Christina Rohn, first assistant director and associate producer. Scott Castelein will serve as producer and director of photography. Rohn, 30, and Castelein, 25, are business partners in Lake Street Media, a Petoskey-based production company.

The suspense thriller was recently approved for more than $42,000 in film incentives by the Michigan Film Office, Rohn said in a press release. A portion of the feature will be shot in and around Petoskey, while the primary filming will take place at a cabin in DeTour.

The film is expected to be released in 2014.

Wright, 48, of Topinabee, is a self-published author who is best known for his children’s book series “Michigan Chillers” and “American Chillers,” which he writes under the pen name Johnathan Rand. He released “Bestseller” under the pseudonym Christopher Knight.

The novel currently is out of print but Rohn said Wright plans to reissue the book during the next several months in paperback and electronically. The book’s front cover will feature west Michigan resident Melissa Anschutz, who will play Chicago literary agent Anne Harper in the film, along with the cabin in DeTour, the film’s primary location.

The film revolves around Harper, who vacations to a cabin in a remote area of the Upper Peninsula. While there, she receives an unexpected manuscript on her doorstep from wannabe author Gerald Morgan, whom she has refused to sign with her agency. The manuscript, “Bestseller,” is written with Harper in mind — and isn’t quite fiction, she realizes. It’s about a successful literary agent who is stalked, tortured and killed by a disgruntled author while vacationing in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

“Bestseller” is Wright’s first venture into feature films. As the executive producer, he is fully funding the project.

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