×

Producers ramp up Ray Bradbury project

Adaptation of 'Dandelion Wine' accelerated in wake of death

In the wake of Ray Bradbury’s death, producers of a film adaptation of Bradbury’s semi-autobiographical “Dandelion Wine” are stepping up efforts to bring the project to the bigscreen.

“We going to start talking with directors now,” said Phoenix Pictures’ Mike Medavoy, who came onboard the project last summer with Doug McKay and the husband-wife team of Rodion Nahapetov and Natasha Shliapnikoff.

Bradbury died Tuesday night in Los Angeles.

“His passing is devastating,” Shliapnikoff said. “He had pulled through so many other times. He was always happy and kind, always saying he was glad to be alive.”

Medavoy said the script for the project, penned by Nahapetov, is in “excellent” shape.

Story, published in 1957, takes place in the 1928 summer in Green Town, Ill. — which closely resembles Bradbury’s home of Waukegan, Ill. The protagonist is 12-year-old Douglas Spaulding, whose short stories are tinged with fantasy.

Nahapetov, a Russian native, made a short film in Russia based on the novel.

“When I began my studies at the Cinema Institute in Moscow, many foreign books were banned in Soviet Russia,” he said last summer. “Still, I decided to make my short film based upon ‘Dandelion Wine’ because this novel represented to me the childhood I never had.”

The film deal for “Dandelion Wine” was announced shortly before Bradbury’s 91st birthday.

“This is the best birthday gift I could ask for,” Bradbury said at the time. “Today, I have been reborn! ‘Dandelion Wine’ is my most deeply personal work and brings back memories of sheer joy as well as terror. This is the story of me as a young boy and the magic of an unforgettable summer which still holds a mystical power over me.”

Medavoy produced “Shutter Island,” “Black Swan” and “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” which McKay co-produced.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Sarajevo, Intl. Casting Directors Network Look

    Sarajevo Film Festival and International Casting Directors Network Look to Launch Local Stars

    The Intl. Casting Directors Network (ICDN) and the Sarajevo Film Festival are joining forces to turn the popular Bosnian film fest into a springboard for regional actors looking to launch international careers. After kicking off with a pilot version last year, the initiative expanded to include a series of masterclasses with leading casting directors and [...]

  • Kristen Stewart Underwater

    Watch Kristen Stewart Fight Sea Monsters in 'Underwater' Trailer

    Vampires, ghosts and now sea monsters? Clearly there is no monster actress Kristen Stewart cannot tame. In the first trailer for the submerged thriller “Underwater,” Stewart is a member an stranded submarine crew. The trailer begins with the radio message: “You are now 5,000 miles from land and you are descending seven miles to the [...]

  • Romanian Director Catalin Mitulescu on Sarajevo

    Romanian Director Catalin Mitulescu on Sarajevo Competition Film ‘Heidi’

    A leading figure of the Romanian New Wave, Cătălin Mitulescu has had a heralded career since winning the Palme d’Or for his 2004 short film “Traffic.” His first two features, “The Way I Spent the End of the World” (2006) and “Loverboy” (2011), both premiered in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard sidebar. He also co-produced and [...]

  • Betty Gilpin'Stuber' film premiere, Arrivals, Regal

    'GLOW' Star Betty Gilpin in Talks to Join Chris Pratt in 'Ghost Draft' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fresh off her Emmy nomination for Netflix’s “GLOW,” Betty Gilpin has found her next project. The actress is in talks to join Chris Pratt in “Ghost Drama,” a sci-fi action film from Skydance and Paramount. Gilpin would join a cast that also includes “Handmaid’s Tale” star Yvonne Strahovski. Directed by “Lego Batman” filmmaker Chris McKay [...]

  • Stephan Komandarev on Sarajevo Player ‘Rounds’

    Director Stephan Komandarev on Sarajevo Player ‘Rounds’ and His Bulgarian Trilogy

    Bulgarian director Stephan Komandarev earned critical acclaim for his 2017 feature “Directions,” which was selected for Cannes’ Un Certain Regard sidebar. The first installment in a planned trilogy about the social inequality and moral ills plaguing both Bulgaria and Europe at large, the film followed six cab drivers over the course of 24 hours as [...]

  • Meryl Streep Best Movie Lines

    HBO Max Lands Steven Soderbergh's Next Film Starring Meryl Streep

    HBO Max has picked up Steven Soderbergh’s next film, the comedy “Let Them All Talk” starring Meryl Streep. Joining Streep in the ensemble cast are Candice Bergen, Dianne Wiest, Lucas Hedges and Gemma Chan. The screenplay was written by short story author and MacArthur Fellow recipient Deborah Eisenberg. It’s the story of a celebrated author [...]

  • Bruce Springsteen FYSEE Opening Night with

    Bruce Springsteen Drops Introspective Trailer for 'Western Stars' Film

    While initial reports about Bruce Springsteen’s forthcoming documentary around his recent “Western Stars” album said that it would essentially be a concert film, the first trailer for it, which dropped today, suggests it’s going to be a more introspective outing, more in line with his autobiographical performances at “Springsteen on Broadway” in 2017 and 2018, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content