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Amazon takes on Hollywood with film rights deal

LONDON - Online retailer Amazon.com is turning its hand to film-making after striking a deal for the rights to a bestselling novel.

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Amazon has acquired the rights to 'The Stolen Child', a fantasy novel by author Keith Donohue, and will team up with a Hollywood studio and producer.

Set in the American northeast, the book tells the story of hobgoblins who steal a young boy, Henry, and replace him with a changeling or copy of the stolen child. The book alternates between unfolding the story of the human Henry and his hobgoblin counterpart. It currently ranks number 62 in Amazon's list of bestsellers.

Amazon does not intend to co-finance the film, what it will do instead is market the film and its DVD on its website.

It said the company's expertise and global customers could make it "an extremely valuable partner in the marketing and distribution of this film".

This year, Amazon has increased its interest in web programming, launching a weekly interview programme called with artists and authors hosted by Bill Maher, the political and cultural commentator.

Donahue featured on the talk show 'Amazon Fishbowl with Bill Maher', along with horror novelist Stephen King and actor Toni Collette.

In 2004, the retailer produced five short live-action films on its website, featuring actors Minnie Driver and Daryl Hannah, which were used to flag up its credit card and the range of goods available on its US site.

Earlier this week, the shopping giant posted a 58% slump in net income to $22m (£12m) in the three months to June 30, from $52m a year earlier. Sales were up 22% in the quarter to $2.14bn.

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