Annapurna Pictures & Color Force Acquire Rights to WHERE'D YOU GO, BERNADETTE
Annapurna Pictures and Color Force have secured the feature film rights to Maria Semple's critically acclaimed, bestselling novel WHERE'D YOU GO, BERNADETTE it was announced today by Color Force's Nina Jacobson. Additionally, Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber ((500) Days of Summer) have been confirmed to write the screenplay. Semple will serve as executive producer along with Color Force's Bryan Unkeless and Annapurna Pictures' Ted Schipper. Jacobson and partner Brad Simpson will produce alongside Annapurna Pictures' Megan Ellison.
Told via letters, emails, texts, and other documents, "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" pieces together the story of a brilliant but slightly unhinged woman, a once-famous Los Angeles architect turned recluse, who abruptly disappears, leaving her Microsoft-guru husband and devoted eighth-grade daughter determined to find her.
USA Today said of Semple and the novel, "[she] has a feel for family strife of a born literary novelist, but she retains the comic sensibilities of a screen writer; which is to say that the book is actually laugh-out-loud funny rather than 'humorous.' And don't let the hilarity of the first third of the book fool you into thinking that this is a light farce, by the last page, Semple, in addition to skewering helicopter parents with satire so deft that it could pass for truth, touches on religion, class and what we owe those we love."
"It is so rare to find a book that is as original as it is moving and whose storytelling is as innovative as its characters are rich. I'm very grateful to be collaborating with Megan Ellison to bring Maria's extraordinary book to the screen. We are off to a great start with Neustadter and Weber, whose voices and creative agility make them a perfect match for Bernadette," said Jacobson.
Said Semple: "I can't think of two more impressive women than Nina Jacobson & Megan Ellison. I'm bouncy with excitement that they and the whole Color Force & Annapurna teams will be ushering Bernadette onto the big screen. And the guys! If any screenwriters can figure out the gordian knot that is the adaptation of 'Where'd You Go, Bernadette,' it's Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber. It's a huge honor to have my book in such capable hands."
The film rights were negotiated by UTA and Anna Stein of Aitken Alexander for Semple. CAA negotiated on behalf of Neustadter and Weber, who are also represented by Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment and attorney Sean Marks of Myman Greenspan.
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.
The company, which many consider to be a one-stop shop for filmmakers, has provided the industry with a significant boost of critically acclaimed films in the last year. Annapurna's recent releases include Kathryn Bigelow's multiple Golden Globe nominated film ZERO DARK THIRTY, a dramatization of the Navy SEAL hunt for Osama Bin Laden; Paul Thomas Anderson's multiple Golden Globe nominated masterpiece THE MASTER; John Hillcoat's LAWLESS and Andrew Dominik's KILLING THEM SOFTLY, a modern crime drama starring Brad Pitt.
Upcoming releases include Wong Kar Wai's THE GRANDMASTERS, the story of martial arts master and Bruce Lee trainer Ip Man and the 2012 Venice and Toronto break-out hit SPRING BREAKERS, directed by Harmony Korine starring Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens and James Franco, set to be distributed in the Spring by A24.
Current projects include the new Untitled Spike Jonze Project starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and Rooney Mara, which recently wrapped production, Bennett Miller's FOXCATCHER which is currently in production and David O. Russell's untitled film starring Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner and Amy Adams. Further, the company has partnered with Nina Jacobson's Color Force on the best-selling comedic novel Where'd You Go, Bernadette, written by Maria Semple and Denver & Delilah and CJ Entertainment on the SYMPATHY FOR LADY VENGEANCE adaptation written by William Monahan and starring Charlize Theron. This past spring, the company made a deal to back Panorama Media, which will serve as the international sales agent on select Annapurna projects.
About Color Force
Since its inception, Nina Jacobson's Color Force has proven to be a hotbed for bringing beloved literary adaptations to the big screen. The company has placed a premium on the primacy of great storytelling. They have become known for working closely with authors and filmmakers throughout the adaptation process.
In just 5 years, Jacobson and her team have been able to secure valuable partnerships with several favorite pop culture writers, including SuzAnne Collins (The Hunger Games trilogy), David Nicholls (One Day) and Jeff Kinney (The Wimpy Kid series). The company signed an exclusive first-look cable television deal with FX Productions in August 2012 and is currently in production on Catching Fire, the follow up film to the record-breaking The Hunger Games.
About Maria Semple
Maria Semple spent her first few years traveling around Europe with her parents. While living in Spain, her father Lorenzo wrote the pilot for the TV series Batman. The family packed up and moved to Los Angeles. After Lorenzo became established as a screenwriter, the family moved to Aspen, Colorado. For high school, Maria was sent away to Choate RoseMary Hall and loved every minute of it.
College was at Barnard, where Maria had big plans of becoming a novelist or a teacher. Those dreams got derailed when she sold a movie script to Twentieth Century Fox just after graduation. The movie didn't get made, but she moved to LA and made a living writing more screenplays that didn't get made. Maria got into TV when her friend Darren Star - whom she'd met on the ski slopes in Aspen years earlier - gave her a job on Beverly Hills, 90210. Thus began a fifteen-year career in television, writing for good shows like Ellen, Mad About You and Arrested Development. And bad shows you'll have to look elsewhere to find.
Maria had a baby, quit television and finally gave novel-writing a try. This One Is Mine was published by Little, Brown in December 2008. Maria, her boyfriend and daughter moved to Seattle where her new novel, Where'd You Go, Bernadette, begins. Maria loves living in Seattle - thank you for asking - where she teaches writing, studies poetry and tries, with mixed results, to stay off the internet.
Awards and Accolades for
WHERE'D YOU GO, BERNADETTE by Maria Semple
Shortlisted for 2012 PNBA Book Award
People's 10 Best Books of 2012
Time's 10 Best Books of 2012: Fiction
Janet Maslin's 10 Best Books of 2012 in The New York Times
Entertainment Weekly's Best Books of 2012: Fiction
Barnes & Noble's Best Books of 2012: Fiction
BookPage's Best Books of 2012
The Christian Science Monitor's 10 Best Books of the Year: Fiction
The Washington Post's 50 Notable Works of Fiction
Parents.com's Best Books of 2012
Flavorwire's 25 Notable Books Unfairly Overlooked by The New York Times
The San Francisco Chronicle's Best Books of 2012
Kansas City Star's Notable Fiction of 2012
NBC's The Today Show's Holiday Book Picks: Gillian Flynn's selection
Bookpage's 25 Best Book Jackets of 2012
The Philadelphia Inquirer's Best Books of 2012
Daily Candy's 17 Books Not to Be Missed in 2012
The Sandusky Register's Best Books of 2012: Connie Shultz's selection
The Millions' A Year in Reading: Emma Straub's selection
The Millions' A Year in Reading: Janet Potter's selection, Best Use of Email as Character Development
The Conversation's first Book Club Pick