‘Honey Boy’ Director Alma Har’el Boards Adaptation of Walter Tevis’ ‘Mockingbird’

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Alma Har’el, the acclaimed filmmaker behind “Honey Boy,” will direct a feature adaptation of Walter Tevis’ science fiction novel, “Mockingbird,” for Searchlight Pictures. The film is a passion project for the director.

“Mockingbird” unfolds in future of a declining human population, which has turned to drugs and electronics for distraction. It’s also a world without art, children or books and one in which humanity’s future hinges on a love triangle between an android, a man and a woman.

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“I’ll never forget the first time I read ‘Mockingbird’ on the shore of the Sinai peninsula in Egypt when I was 24 years old,” said Har’el. “This book has changed my life and I’ve been pursuing it for over a decade. I knew that Searchlight was the perfect home for it and I’m thrilled they are partnering with me to bring this to the big screen. Walter Tevis wrote a novel that refuses genre and time, choosing instead to awaken every fiber of your being.”

Tevis is experiencing something of a resurgence these days. His 1963 novel, “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” was recently adapted into a sci-fi television series with Showtime, and his 1983 novel, “The Queen’s Gambit,” became a binge-able sensation when it was made into a miniseries by Netflix.

“Walter Tevis was a prolific and astute storyteller who wrote novels and short stories that have withstood the test of time,” said Searchlight Presidents David Greenbaum and Matthew Greenfield. “’Mockingbird’ is a powerful tale and with the uniquely talented Alma Har’el at the helm of this film, we know it will be brilliant.”

J. Miles Dale (“The Shape of Water”) and Robert Schwartz (“Iron Will”) are producing along with Har’el and her partner Christopher Leggett. Alejandro Laguette and Rafael Marmor are executive producing.

With “Honey Boy,” Har’el became the first woman to win the DGA Award for first-time feature film. She is currently in production on “Lady in the Lake” for Apple TV+. She created the limited series and will executive produce and direct all of its episodes. It stars Natalie Portman and Lupita Nyong’o. Har’el is also the founder of non-profit initiative Free the Work, which was formed to fight systemic inequalities in film, television, advertising, and media and advocating on behalf of underrepresented creators. It is active in 85 countries worldwide.

Har’el is represented by the Independent Talent Group, WME, Range Media Partners and Gang Tyre Ramer & Brown.

Paul Hoffman, Head of Searchlight Business Affairs, negotiated the deal with Schwartz’s Seismic Pictures, Dale’s Demilo Films, and with Susan Schulman of the Susan Schulman Literary Agency for the Tevis Family Trust. Taylor Friedman and Cornelia Burleigh are overseeing for Searchlight Pictures, reporting to Heads of Production and Development DanTram Nguyen and Katie Goodson-Thomas. Searchlight is planning a theatrical release.

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