×

Toronto-Based Family Drama ‘Brother’ to Be Developed as Film

Toronto-based production companies Conquering Lion and Hawkeye Pictures have acquired the film and television rights to David Chariandy’s family drama “Brother,” Variety has learned exclusively.

Clement Virgo (“The Book of Negroes”) is attached to adapt the screenplay and direct the film. The novel tells the story of two brothers facing questions of masculinity, family, race and identity in a housing complex during the sweltering heat and simmering violence of the summer of 1991.

The deal was announced Thursday on the opening day of the Toronto Film Festival. “Brother” is the winner of the 2017 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, won the 2018 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and is a current finalist for the Toronto Book Award.

Virgo’s TV directing credits include “Empire,” “American Crime” and “The Wire.”  He is the supervising director and executive producer with Oprah Winfrey on OWN network drama series “Greenleaf.”

“Growing up poor in Toronto’s Regent Park in the 1980s to Jamaican immigrant parents, I relate on a personal level to the characters and how the world sees you as a young black man,” said Virgo. “I’m excited to dive into adapting and directing such a personal story.”

Popular on Variety

“‘Brother’ is an exquisite novel and Clement a visionary filmmaker,” said producer Aeschylus Poulos. “There is no one better to adapt and direct this story.”

Rights were sold by Michael Levine at Westwood Creative Artists, on behalf of Jackie Kaiser. Damon D’Oliveira negotiated the deal on behalf of Conquering Lion and Hawkeye Pictures.

More Film

  • Mike (WILL SMITH), Marcus (MARTIN LAWRENCE)

    Box Office: 'Bad Boys for Life' Towers Over 'Dolittle,' '1917'

    Universal’s “Dolittle” and “1917” found out what “Bad Boys” will do when they come for you at the box office. Sony’s “Bad Boys for Life,” the third entry in the Will Smith and Martin Lawrence-led series, beat expectations and towered over the competition during the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. “Bad Boys for Life” earned [...]

  • Charlize Theron31st Annual Producers Guild Awards,

    Charlize Theron Says Megyn Kelly's 'Bombshell' Reaction Video Was 'Really Validating'

    Charlize Theron says it was “really emotional” to watch Megyn Kelly’s half-hour response video to “Bombshell,” the Oscar-nominated feature film that depicts the sexual harassment Kelly (as played by Theron) and several other women experienced from Fox News founder Roger Ailes. The video, which Kelly posted to her YouTube Channel on Jan. 9, shows Kelly, [...]

  • (center) George MacKay as Schofield in

    '1917,' 'Succession' Among Top PGA Award Winners

    “1917” continued its string of major awards season wins on Saturday night, earning the Producers Guild of America award for best picture. Coupled with its win for best picture, drama at the Golden Globes, the WWI movie is officially the front runner for Oscar’s top prize. “It’s a film that is a tribute to all [...]

  • Bong Joon Ho, Jane Rosenthal, David

    Netflix Praised by 'The Irishman,' 'Marriage Story' Filmmakers at Producers Guild Panel

    Streaming giant Netflix received strong support from filmmakers behind “The Irishman” and “Marriage Story” at the Producers Guild of America’s nominees panel on Saturday at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Jane Rosenthal, one of “The Irishman” producers, said Netflix embraced the vision that she and Martin Scorsese had for the $170 million film. [...]

  • Gabriel Harel on MyFFF ‘The Night

    Gabriel Harel Discusses Dystopic Parable ‘The Night of the Plastic Bags’

    With his first short film, the animated “Yùl and the Snake,” Gabriel Harel won Europe’s Cartoon d’Or for the continent’s best animated short film, given at the 2016 Cartoon Forum in Toulouse. Now, Harel’s awaited sophomore effort, the animated “The Night of the Plastic Bags,” competes at UniFrance’s MyFrenchFilmFestival, and is available on a swathe [...]

  • MyFrenchFilmFestival: Profiling Benjamin Crotty’s Short ‘Nicolas

    ‘The Glorious Acceptance of Nicolas Chauvin’: Nationalism Wrapped in Charisma

    Winner of Locarno’s Signs of Life section, Benjamin Crotty’s “The Glorious Acceptance of Nicolas Chauvin” has enjoyed more than 12 months of festival success and critical acclaim as it reaches the end of its festival run at UniFrance’s MyFrenchFilmFestival. A modern take on one of France’s most influential yet widely unknown characters, the film headlines [...]

  • Alexander Ludwig

    Alexander Ludwig on Sharing his Recovery Journey, Playing the 'Bad Boys' Tech Guy

    With his towering height and stature, Alexander Ludwig looks every bit the action star, first appearing as Cato in “The Hunger Games,” and more recently as fierce Norse Viking chief Bjorn Ironside on History Channel’s “Vikings” and in “Bad Boys for Life,” the third installment of the “Bad Boys” franchise, with Will Smith and Martin [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content