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.