British auteur Terence Davies is developing a feature based on “Mother of Sorrows,” the prize-winning 2005 debut novel by American Richard McCann.
Davies is working on the project with Leopardrama, the fiction arm of London and New York-based production group Argonon. They have development funding from the EU’s Media program.
“Mother of Sorrows” consists of 10 interwoven stories about two teenage brothers dealing with the death of their father and the influence of their strong, complex mother. The novel won the John C. Zacharis First Book Award and was nominated for the Stonewall Book Award for gay fiction.
“This is an important story because it touches the humanity in all of us,” Davies said. “I love the delicacy of the book and its gentle odyssey from post-WWII optimism for the American Utopia to a deeper understanding of both maternal and filial love and an acceptance of mortality by surrendering to the light.”
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Davies most recently directed 1950s-set melodrama “The Deep Blue Sea,” starring Rachel Weisz, and is next set to shoot his long-awaited adaptation of classic Scottish novel “Sunset Song,” written by Lewis Grassic Gibbon in 1932.
His last film shot in the U.S. was “The Neon Bible” in 1995, though he also adapted Edith Wharton’s novel “The House of Mirth” in 2000, using Glasgow for New York.
Leopardrama, headed by Joey Attawia, Jez Swimer and David Chikwe, co-produced low-budget Brit thriller “The Holding” last year and made “An Englishman in New York,” starring John Hurt, in 2009.
Parent company Argonon has also announced that its 3D film of Matthew Bourne’s production of the ballet “Swan Lake,” which is due in U.K. cinemas this year, has been picked up by specialist arts distrib More2Screen for release in more than 600 theaters worldwide.