Legendary Pictures has optioned the rights to the critically acclaimed book “The Secret Game” by Scott Ellsworth, sources tell Variety.
Alex Hedlund and Brady Fujikawa will oversee production for Legendary. The company will now look to attach a writer to adapt the material.
The book tells of a secret, racially integrated game between the unbeaten basketball teams from North Carolina College and Duke in 1944. The game remained publicly unknown for more than 52 years, until Ellsworth, a Duke University graduate and historian, wrote an article about the historical event that appeared in The New York Times.
The New York Times best-seller has received numerous honors, including the PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing, and it was recently named one of Sports Illustrated’s Best Books of the Year. The paperback edition will be released on March 1.
Though the company is known for its part in big-budget blockbusters like “The Dark Knight” and “Godzilla,” Legendary has shown an interest in sport stories of this nature. The company also produced the Jackie Robinson biopic “42” starring Chadwick Boseman, which went on to box-office success, grossing $95 million at the domestic box office.