Production companies fronted by Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal have landed adaptive rights to scientist Suzanne Simard’s memoir “Finding the Mother Tree.”
In a competitive situation, Adams’ Bond Group Entertainment and Gyllenhaal’s Nine Stories scored the the book, published today via Knopf. The project is being developed by both companies with Adams set to star.
Recounting her groundbreaking and once-ridiculed research, the book is described as a dazzling scientific detective story about the woman who first discovered how trees communicate underground through an immense web of fungi. Simard’s work has been praised as having “planetary significance,” and is said to have influenced creative works including James Cameron’s “Avatar” (the Tree of Souls) and author Richard Powers.
Adams and Bond Group co-founder Stacy O’Neil said the book “excited us with a narrative about the awe-invoking power of nature and the compelling parallels in Suzanne’s personal life. It forever transformed our views of the world and the interconnectivity of our environment. ‘Finding the Mother Tree’ is not only a deeply beautiful memoir about one woman’s impactful life, it’s also a call to action to protect, understand and connect with the natural world.”
Gyllenhaal and his Nine Stories partner Riva Marker called the project “part charming memoir, part crash course in forest ecology. And yet, it manages to be about the things that matter most: the ways we care for each other, fail each other and listen to each other. After the last year and a half, its lessons about motherhood, connection and the natural world are more timely than ever, and we are thrilled to partner with Amy, Stacy and their company, and Suzanne Simard to adapt this majestic story to film.”
Adams and O’Neil and Gyllenhaal and Marker will produce the project, with Noah Stahl overseeing for Nine Stories and Kate Clifford for Bond Group Entertainment. A distributor has not yet been set.
Adams is represented by WME, Linden Entertainment, Narrative and Sloane Offer Weber & Dern, as is Bond Group. Nine Stories is represented by WME and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman. Simard is represented by Idea Architects and WME.
Bond Group’s credits include HBO’s award-winning limited series “Sharp Objects.” They are currently in pre-production for Netflix’s “Kings of America” and Entertainment One’s “Willa of the Wood.”
Founded in 2015, Nine Stories just wrapped an English-language adaptation of the Danish movie “The Guilty” at Netflix, reuniting Gyllenhaal with “Southpaw” director Antoine Fuqua. They also produced Antonio Campos’ “The Devil All The Time” with Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson, Riley Keough and Sebastian Stan, and will soon release “Joe Bell” with Mark Wahlberg and Connie Britton. Nine Stories has a first look deal with New Republic Pictures, and robust divisions in TV (the Ubisoft adaptation “The Division,” and “Snow Blind” at Apple TV Plus) and in theater (Jeremy O. Harris’ “Slave Play”).