Anonymous Content pic adapts Abraham Verghese novel

Anonymous Content has tapped Susanne Bier (“In a Better World”) to direct the feature adaptation of Abraham Verghese’s best-selling novel “Cutting for Stone,” which will be written by Scott Teems (“That Evening Sun”).

Rosalie Swedlin and Steve Golin will produce the pic, which centers on twin brothers born of a forbidden union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon in an Ethiopian mission hospital. Orphaned by their mother’s death and their father’s disappearance, and bound together by a preternatural connection as well as a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of the modern world.

Born in Ethiopia in the 1950s, Verghese’s debut novel has more than 1 million copies in print in 25 languages. This coming Sunday will mark its 105th consecutive week on the New York Times’ trade paperback bestseller list. Anonymous acquired feature film rights to the novel in February 2011.

Bier, whose recent Danish film “In a Better World” took home the foreign language Oscar, previously helmed “Things We Lost in the Fire,” “After the Wedding” and 2004′s “Brothers,” which was remade in 2009. Helmer recently signed on to direct Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper in “Serena” and is currently shopping Pierce Brosnan-starrer “All You Need Is Love” at Berlin.

Georgia-born Teems, who directed Mia Wasikowska and Ray McKinnon to Indie Spirit Award noms in “That Evening Sun,” recently reteamed with that pic’s star Hal Holbrook on the documentary “Holbrook/Twain: An American Odyssey,” which chronicles Holbrook’s award-winning one-man show “Mark Twain Tonight!” Filmmaker is currently developing an adaptation of Stephen King’s novella “The Breathing Method,” and is also eyeing an adaptation of Damon Galgut’s novel “The Quarry” for his second feature as writer-director.

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