Big names in cinema vie for ‘Goldfinch’ rights

2014-07-15 00:00

WARNER Brothers is the frontrunner to acquire feature rights to Donna Tartt’s best-selling novel The Goldfinch, several people familiar with the project have said.

Warner Brothers had no comment to make.

Warner has made a competitive offer, although the studio is not in active negotiations yet for the rights, which aren’t expected to come easy, as Tartt is seeking to be involved in creative decisions, just as E.L. James was closely involved with the development and production of Universal and Focus’s adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey.

The Dickensian adventure story, which takes place over two decades, follows a boy whose mother dies in a museum bombing. He survives the tragedy and steals Fabritius’s famous painting The Goldfinch. Eventually, he’s taken in by a wealthy Manhattan family, and years later, reunites with his alcoholic father, who takes him to Las Vegas as he tries to unravel a mystery.

While Tartt’s representatives at ICM Partners initially shopped The Goldfinch to networks and studios as a possible mini-series, Warner executives believe the material is well-suited for a potential feature. If Tartt doesn’t like the direction that future feature development is going, the project can always be reconfigured for television.

None of Tartt’s novels has been adapted for film or TV yet, but The Goldfinch has piqued Hollywood’s interest since its publication last year, when the New York Times Book Review called The Goldfinch one of the 10 best novels of the year. —

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