‘CODA’ Producer Vendôme Pictures Options ‘Fire Weather: A True Story from a Hotter World’ (EXCLUSIVE)

In a competitive situation, Vendôme Pictures, the Oscar-winning banner behind “CODA,” has optioned the film and television rights to John Vaillant’s nonfiction book about climate change “Fire Weather: A True Story from a Hotter World.”

It comes after the book was released to much acclaim in June 2023 and went on to win the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction. It was also a finalist for the 2023 National Book Award, and was named a best book of the year by The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Financial Times and The Guardianamong many other prominent publications.

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Vaillant took readers halfway through the hottest year of the hottest decade in recorded history, as a new kind of fire introduced itself to the world. The author examines the multi-billion-dollar disaster in Fort McMurray, the hub of Canada’s oil industry and America’s biggest foreign supplier, which melted vehicles, turned houses into firebombs and drove 88,000 people from the city in a single afternoon. The book calls the disruption “the wildfire equivalent of Hurricane Katrina.” 

“The idea of addressing climate change by focusing on one of the most consequential fires in North America made this story uniquely captivating and impeccably suited to Vendôme’s taste,” Vendôme’s founder, chairman and co-CEO Philippe Rousselet said. “John’s recounting of this pivotal disaster is not only gripping and exhilarating but also portrays a poignant human narrative that prompts us all to contemplate the future of our planet.”

Vaillant added: “The chance to work with a team that understands — personally and viscerally — the growing threat of climate-driven urban fire is rare and exciting, and the potential of film to convey the intensity of these events is virtually limitless.”

Vaillant has written fiction, as well as nonfiction. His first book, “The Golden Spruce,” won the Governor General’s Award and his second nonfiction book, “The Tiger,” received the B.C. Achievement Award for Non-Fiction. In 2015, he published his first work of fiction, “The Jaguar’s Children,” which was long listed for the Dublin IMPAC and Kirkus Fiction Prizes and was a finalist for the Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.

The deal was brokered by Sloss Eckhouse Dasti Haynes Law Co LLP on behalf of Vendôme, and by CAA and the Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency on behalf of Vaillant.

Vendôme is best known for producing “CODA,” which won three Oscars at the 2022 Academy Awards, including best picture. The company is currently in pre-production on Andrew Niccol’s “Lords of War” starring Academy award-winner Nicolas Cage and Bill Skarsgård, the follow-up to the cult classic “Lord Of War.” The studio has also recently acquired the remake rights to produce a scripted adaption of the award-winning human rights documentary “A Fire Within.” In addition, Vendôme Pictures and Pathé are working with the Tony Award-winning Deaf West Theatre to develop the stage musical adaptation of “CODA” and “Ibelin,” which will be directed by Morten Tyldum.

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