LOS ANGELES, CA, June 25, 2014 /CNW/ - After a competitive pursuit, Annapurna Pictures, in tandem with actress Rooney Mara, has optioned the New York Times bestseller A House in the Sky by co-authors Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett. The memoir will be developed as a starring vehicle for Mara, who will also serve as a producer alongside Annapurna's Megan Ellison. Annapurna's Chelsea Barnard will be the executive overseeing the day-to-day development and production of the project.
A House in the Sky is the dramatic and redemptive memoir of Amanda Lindhout, whose deep passion for exploration of the world's most remote and perilous places, took an unexpected turn when she was abducted in 2008 in Mogadishu, Somalia by a rebel terrorist group. An astoundingly intimate and harrowing account of Lindhout's fifteen months in captivity, A House in the Sky illuminates the psychology, motivations, and desperate extremism of her captors all the while as she is kept in chains, nearly starved, and subjected to unthinkable abuse. Published by Scribner, A House in the Sky is an international bestseller and was named by Amazon as one of the top 10 books published in 2013. The book was first brought to the attention of Mara through her team at Management 360 who then approached Annapurna.
"Rooney Mara is someone whose talent and adventurous spirit I admire deeply. I'm thrilled that she's teaming with Annapurna Pictures to bring A House in the Sky to the screen. I can't imagine a better match," says Lindhout.
Rooney Mara is best known for her Academy Award-nominated performance in the David Fincher adaptation of the Steig Larsson trilogy THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. She recently wrapped production alongside Cate Blanchett in CAROL, the adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's romance novel "The Price of Salt" directed by Todd Haynes. Mara is currently filming PAN where she portrays "Tiger Lily" in Joe Wright's origin story of the classic "Peter Pan."
ICM Partners represents Lindhout and Corbett, and negotiated the sale of the novel with Annapurna's Chris Corabi and Vanessa Fung. Mara is represented by WME and Management 360.
About Annapurna Pictures:
Annapurna Pictures is a film production and finance company founded with the goal of boldly creating sophisticated, high-quality and ambitious films that appeal to a variety of audiences. Under Megan Ellison's guidance, Annapurna has provided the industry with a critical boost of intelligent, adult dramas in recent years.
Annapurna's projects from 2013 alone earned 17 Academy Award nominations, and made Ellison the first woman to earn two Best Picture nominations in the same year. Those projects included David O. Russell's AMERICAN HUSTLE starring Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence which was released by Sony in December. The film won three Golden Globe Awards including Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy and was nominated for 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture. In addition, Annapurna produced Spike Jonze's HER starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and Rooney Mara, also released in December through Warner Bros. HER won multiple critical awards including a Golden Globe for Best Screenplay and the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Annapurna's SPRING BREAKERS, directed by Harmony Korine and starring Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens and James Franco, broke records earning the biggest box office opening weekend of 2013 for a film playing in limited release; and Wong Kar Wai's THE GRANDMASTER, the story of martial arts master and Bruce Lee trainer Ip Man, which was released in August 2013 by The Weinstein Company and was nominated for two Academy Awards.
Annapurna's past releases include Kathryn Bigelow's multiple Golden Globe and Academy Award nominated film ZERO DARK THIRTY; Paul Thomas Anderson's multiple Golden Globe and Academy Award nominated masterpiece THE MASTER; Andrew Dominik's KILLING THEM SOFTLY starring Brad Pitt and John Hillcoat's LAWLESS.
Later this year, Bennett Miller's FOXCATCHER starring Channing Tatum, Steve Carell, and Mark Ruffalo based on the true story of convicted millionaire murderer John DuPont will be released by Sony Pictures. Additionally, Annapurna has partnered with Nina Jacobson's Color Force on the best-selling comedic novel WHERE'D YOU GO, BERNADETTE?, written by Maria Semple and has partnered with Denver & Delilah and CJ Entertainment on the SYMPATHY FOR LADY VENGEANCE remake written by William Monahan and starring Charlize Theron. Annapurna recently announced they will produce a currently untitled Garbo/Dietrich Television Project from writers Angela Robinson and Alex Kondracke focusing on the intersecting lives of Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich.
SOURCE Simon and Schuster Canada