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Chloé Zhao is expected to direct the book adaptation Hamnetthe bestselling historical fiction novel by New York Times signed by British writer Maggie O’Farrell. The same author will adapt the screenplay of the film together with the Oscar-winning director for Nomadland. The news is reported exclusively by Deadlineswho learned it from some sources close to the production.
The adaptation of Hamnet is produced by Amblin Partners, Hera Pictures, Neal Street Productions and Book of Shadows.
Both the novel and the film that will adapt it tell the poignant story of Agnes, the wife of the most famous writer in the world: William Shakespeare. The plot follows the woman as she struggles to come to terms with something impossible for a mother to process: the loss of her only son, Hamnet.
Maggie O’Farrell’s novel traces the emotional, family and artistic aftermath of that loss, resulting in a humane and touching story that forms the backdrop to the creation of Shakespeare’s most famous work: Hamlet.
A novel that has won numerous literary awards
The success of the novel Hamnet was resounding, both critically and with regard to the public. In addition to being a bestseller, Hamnet won the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2020 and the Fiction Prize at the National Book Critics Circle Awards (also in 2020). You have also been nominated for the Walter Scott Prize and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction.
Produces Neal Street, to whom we owe the 3-Oscar winning film: “1917”
Hera Pictures’ Liza Marshall alongside Pippa Harris and Sam Mendes are producing the adaptation for Neal Street, the studio behind the three-time Academy Award-winning World War I film (the acclaimed 1917) along with Amblin.
1917 is the 2019 war film directed by Sam Mendes starring George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman, supported by a cast that includes Mark Strong, Andrew Scott, Richard Madden, Colin Firth and Benedict Cumberbatch.
The film, called “a wartime masterpiece” by the New York Timestriumphed at the 2020 Academy Awards, with 10 nominations in total and 3 statuettes won, for best photography, special effects and sound.
Nic Gonda is an executive producer on behalf of Book of Shadows. Jeb Brody, president of production of Amblin, and Mia Maniscalco of SVP Creative Affairs will oversee the project on behalf of the studio, as announced in these hours by the American magazine Deadlines.
Whether this will be Zhao’s next project is unknown
For now, it is not yet clear whether this film will be the next project directed by director Chloé Zhao. Following the huge success of the Oscar-winning Searchlight-produced drama NomadlandIndeed, Zhao is developing numerous films.
We remember that Nomadland swept the Oscars in 2021, taking home the statuettes for best picture, best actress and best director (went to Zhao, making her the second woman in history to win that award. The first was Kathryn Bigelow, who won it in 2010 for the movie The Hurt Locker).
Chloé Zhao recently directed the Marvel film Eternalsafter which he decided to take a break while waiting to choose what his next film will be.
Maggie O’Farrell, the author of the book “Hamnet”
As for Maggie O’Farrell, author of the book Hamnetlet’s talk about the one who published the memoir best seller of Sunday Timesthat is to say I Am, I Am, I Am.
He has also written nine bestselling novels: After You’d Gone, My Lover’s Lover, The Distance Between Us (which won a Somerset Maugham Award), The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, The Hand that First Held Mine (which won the Costa Novel Award 2010), Instructions for a Heatwave (selected for the Costa Novel Award 2013), This Must be the Place (selected for the Costa Novel Award 2016) e Hamnet.
His latest novel is called The Marriage Portrait and was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2023. She has also written two children’s books, titled Where Snow Angels Go And The Boy Who Lost His Spark. Maggie O’Farrell is one of the most widely read British writers in the world. She lives in Edinburgh.
Zhao is represented by CAA, co-managed by Pangea and Ilene Feldman Management, and is advised by Linda Lichter of Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler, Feldman & Clark.
O’Farrell is represented by Conrad Williams of the Blake Friedmann Literary Agency (film and television rights) and Victoria Hobbs of AMHeath.