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Alexie to helm novel at Miramax

Pic follows all-Indian Catholic rock band

Miramax Films has signed Sherman Alexie to adapt and direct his bestselling novel “Reservation Blues” for the screen.

Alexie, who wrote the Miramax/ShadowCatcher film “Smoke Signals,” based on his book, will be making his directorial debut with “Blues.”

“Sherman is a tremendously talented writer. The power of his writing is that it’s both poetic and poignant and always laced with humor,” Miramax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein said. “I know he will bring these talents to directing his first film.”

Alexie said, “It’s extremely rare for the author of a novel to write the screenplay adaptation and direct the film. I’m honored by this opportunity.”

“Blues” focuses on an all-Indian Catholic rock ‘n’ roll band and its journey from obscurity to near fame.

As with “Signals,” “Blues” will be produced by ShadowCatcher Entertainment’s Scott Rosenfelt (“Mystic Pizza,” “Home Alone”) and Larry Estes (“Getting to Know You”). David Skinner will exec produce and Roger Baerwolf will co-produce.

Of his and ShadowCatcher’s interest in stories about Native Americans, Rosenfelt said, “We’re in Seattle, a part of the world where there are reservations nearby. We think Alexie’s stories are important ones to tell.”

Miramax’s Amy Israel, senior veep of acquisitions and co-production, and Jennifer Berman, director of development, will oversee the project for the company.

Israel and Stuart Ford, veep of business and legal affairs, negotiated the deal on behalf of Miramax.

Susan Grode of Katten, Muchin & Zavis and Rosalie Swedlin of Industry Entertainment repped Alexie. Richard Heller of Frankfurt, Garbus, Klein & Selz handled ShadowCatcher’s end of the pact.