×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Inside Move: U.K. grocer rings up novel deal

Bird tale takes unlikely route towards Mouse

It’s not every day that film rights to a 47-year-old supermarket worker’s debut novel are sold to Disney before the book even hits the shelves. But that’s exactly what’s happened with Clive Woodall‘s “One for Sorrow, Two for Joy,” due in U.K. bookstores March 15.

Woodall, a department manager for Sainsbury’s in Hertfordshire, began “One for Sorrow” as a bedtime story for his sons after their mother walked out 11 years ago.

The fairytale is set in the imaginary kingdom of Birddom and follows the plight of a plucky robin tasked with saving the world from evil magpies.

Woodall’s tale may never have seen the light of day, let alone Disney’s feature animation offices, were it not for his own knight in shining armor — disenchanted director Franc Roddam.

The story of how Roddam, who wrote and directed the cult classic “Quadrophenia” (1979), first saw Woodall’s 600-page manuscript is the stuff of fairytales itself.

Roddam chanced upon the book when his bank manager sent it his way. The banker had been petitioned to pass it along to a possible benefactor by a cashier in his branch, who just happens to be Woodall’s second wife.

Roddam was so bowled over by Woodall’s writing that he established a publishing company — Ziji — specifically to publish the tome.

Disney was similarly impressed after Roddam’s pitch, and the two are in negotiations to acquire the film rights.

It’s not the first time Roddam has turned his attention to other creative endeavors when “the feature film gods have not been smiling” on him.

His last feature was mountain survival pic “K2” back in 1992, but the self-styled polymath also spent the last 12 years creating TV series, including “Auf Wiedersehen, Pet,” “Masterchef” and “The Canterbury Tales.”

Once the dust settles on his whirlwind publishing experiment, Roddam plans to return to directing features with “My Friend Matt,” a story based on Adam Zameedzad‘s book about civil conflict seen through the eyes of children.

More Film

  • Bo Burnham34th Film Independent Spirit Awards,

    Bo Burnham Wants 'Eighth Grade' Star Elsie Fisher to Direct Him

    Bo Burnham won his third award in three weeks for “Eighth Grade” at the Spirit Awards and said he wants the film’s 15-year-old Elsie Fisher to direct him. “I’d love to work with Elsie again,” Burnham said backstage after winning the Best First Screenplay trophy.  “She wants to direct so I’d love to switch roles [...]

  • Nicole Holofcener: 'Can You Ever Forgive

    Nicole Holofcener: 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?' Director Was Cheated Out of an Oscar Nomination

    “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” screenwriter Nicole Holofcener offered a blunt assessment of the lack of Academy Awards recognition for director Marielle Heller, and women directors everywhere. “I feel Marielle was cheated and I feel badly about that,” Holofcener said backstage after winning a Spirit Award for screenplay with Jeff Whitty. Holofcener was originally attached [...]

  • Stephan James as Fonny and Brian

    2019 Indie Spirit Awards Winners: Complete List

    The 2019 Independent Spirit Awards took place on a beach in Santa Monica, Calif., with Barry Jenkins’ “If Beale Street Could Talk” taking the top prize for best feature along with best director for Jenkins. Ethan Hawke and Glenn Close took the prizes for best male lead and best female lead, respectively. Bo Burnham took [...]

  • Oscars Oscar Academy Awards Placeholder

    Hated It! How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Gripe About the Oscars

    Watching the Academy Awards telecast, then grousing about it the next day, has become a hipster parlor game — it’s what the Complete Oscar Experience now is. The complaints are legion, and we all know what they are, because we’ve all made them. The show was too long. The host bombed. His or her opening [...]

  • Boots Riley arrives at the 34th

    Boots Riley: Spike Lee Yelled at Me After 'BlacKkKlansman' Criticism, But We're Good Now

    “Sorry to Bother You” director and musician Boots Riley, who wrote a scathing criticism of Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” for its positive representation of law enforcement, said that he and the “Do the Right Thing” auteur are good now. But it took some time (and drama) to get there. Last year, Riley called Lee’s Oscar-nominated “BlacKkKlansman” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content