Michelle Maclaren
Courtesy of Michelle Maclaren

TriStar has signed Michelle MacLaren to helm the feature film adaptation of Kristin Hannah’s bestselling novel “The Nightingale.”

Elizabeth Cantillon is producing. The current adaptation of the novel is written by Ann Peacock with MacLaren and John Sayles on board to do a polish to the draft.

“One of Michelle’s many gifts as a director is her ability to tell stories that are both intimate and epic,” Cantillon said. “She was the perfect director to come on to this unique war story.”

The pic tells the story of two sisters coming of age in France on the eve of World War II, and their struggle to survive and resist the German occupation of France. It was inspired by the story of a Belgian woman, Andrée de Jongh, who helped downed Allied pilots to escape Nazi territory.

The book has sold more than 2 million copies in the U.S. and is a New York Times Bestseller, spending 73 weeks and counting on the list. It’s being published in 39 languages, and topped several best of lists at publications including Buzzfeed, the Wall Street Journal and Goodreads.

The project is being overseen at TriStar by Hannah Minghella and Nicole Brown; Laura Quicksilver is overseeing for the Cantillon Company.

“Michelle has directed some of the most groundbreaking and cinematic television of recent years,” Minghella said. “I’m looking forward to her bringing that same vision to The Nightingale. Her passion for these characters, their complex relationships and the tension of their journeys will no doubt translate into a cinematic experience that will delight the fans of the book and beyond.”

MacLaren is best known for her work in TV, beginning with AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” which earned her Emmy wins for best series. Her other big TV credits include “Game of Thrones,” “The Walking Dead” and, most recently, “The Deuce” for David Simon. MacLaren was previously signed on to direct Warner Bros.’ “Wonder Woman,” but parted ways with the project over creative differences, with Patty Jenkins taking over.

She is repped by ICM Partners. Sayles is repped by APA.

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