Following an Oscar victory for his performance in “Manchester by the Sea,” Casey Affleck has found his next film.
Cohen Media Group (CMG) and Film4 will team with Blumhouse on the film.
Andrew Bovell will adapt the script based on the novel of the same name by John Williams. The movie will follow the life of William Stoner, a dirt-poor farmer turned academic, who emerges as an unlikely existential hero while making his way through the first half of the 20th Century.
“Because the novel is so beautiful but not well-known, fans of ‘Stoner’ feel like they’re in a secret club. I’m so excited that Casey, Joe and Andrew have come aboard to help expand this club’s membership,” said Blum, who optioned the book in 2011. “This quintessentially American work is being brought to the screen by a terrific international team and we’re confident their combined perspectives will add rich layers to this moving story.”
Blum (Blumhouse), Charles S. Cohen (CMG) and Daniel Battsek (Film4) are producing the film with Ethan Hawke serving as an executive producer. Battsek and Blum brought the project to Film4 for development during Battsek’s time as president of CMG, so he retains a producer credit on this one occasion, on what has long been a passion project.
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Affleck had been weighing a handful of projects since winning his Oscar for “Manchester by the Sea.” The actor was most recently seen in David Lowery’s “A Ghost Story” and also has “The Old Man and the Gun” bowing this year. He is repped by WME.
After trying his hand at studio tentpoles with “Pan,” Wright is getting back into doing more prestige pics that fit in his wheelhouse like previous acclaimed films such as “Atonement” and “Pride and Prejudice.” Later this fall he has the Winston Churchill film “Darkest Hour” starring Gary Oldman as the British statesman. He is repped by CAA.
For Blum, who is better known for his micro-budget thrillers including “Split” and “Get Out,” the movie marks his first big play at an Oscar play since “Whiplash.” He also produced the coming of age drama “Lowriders,” which opened earlier this year.