A new screen adaptation of The Sparrow

From the beginning, readers have said that The Sparrow is very cinematic. People in Hollywood thought so, too.  Producer Nick Wechsler came close to doing a movie adaptation twice, first with Antonio Banderas at Universal Pictures and most recently with Brad Pitt at Warner Brothers. The adaptations for both studios were variations on a large-scale, big budget action-adventure that Nick called “Lawrence of Rakhat.” Eventually both studios decided against the project.

The film rights to the novel have reverted to me, and there is now a window of opportunity to see if a more faithful adaptation of the book can be produced.

My friend Karen Hall is a wonderful TV screenwriter who has worked on every classy comedy-drama you can think of  (M.A.S.H., Hill Street Blues, Roseanne, Grace Under Fire, Northern Exposure, Judging Amy, etc.). She invited me down to her farm in Georgia a few years ago and for eight intense days and nights, we collaborated on what we feel is a very strong screen adaptation of the novel. All of the big moments of the story are there; where we changed things, it works.

We are currently in negotiations with a director who once told me that he would crawl over broken glass to direct the film adaptation of The Sparrow. He is in love with the Russell & Hall screenplay.  Getting the contracts written will take time, but I’m cautiously optimistic. As soon as I can tell you more, I will.

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