EXCLUSIVE: Ann Peacock is staying in Africa for her next writing gig, signing on to pen the feature adaptation of Asher Naim‘s 2003 book Saving The Lost Tribe: The Rescue And Redemption Of The Ethiopian Jews. First Born Films has optioned the book and life rights to Naim, the one-time Israeli ambassador to Ethiopia. The book tells the true story of the rescue and redemption of the black Jews of Ethiopia, known as the Falashas, who in May 1991 with the country devolving into a brutal civil war were airlifted to Jerusalem by the Israeli air force in a plan Naim helped hatch that involved paying off brutal Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Meriam and raising cash mostly from the U.S. Jewish community. About 14,000 Falashas made the trip over the course of 25 harrowing hours in a coordinated effort known as Operation Solomon. The book’s main themes focused on the Falashas’ struggle to endure more than 3,000 years in Ethiopia amid famine and tribal wars and the true meaning of faith and identity.
Peacock, who is South African, has a diverse set of adaptations on her resume that includes her first pic, HBO’s A Lesson Before Dying, which won the Outstanding TV Movie Emmy in 1999 as well as the writing Emmy for her. She also adapted the first Chronicles of Narnia film based on the C.S. Lewis book series, Nicolas Sparks’ novel Nights In Rodanthe starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane and Valerie Tripp’s Kit Kittredge books into the 2008 feature starring Abigail Breslin. Peacock’s latest credit is also set in Africa: 2011′s The First Grader, the BBC Films pic based on the true story of an 84-year-old Kenyan and ex-Mau Mau freedom fighter who goes to school for the first time. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Ann Peacock (The Chronicles Of Narnia, Nights In Rodanthe) has been tapped to adapt The Dovekeepers for Mark Burnett, Roma Downey and CBS.
In December, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey — the new It Couple of TV Miniseries/Event Series — landed CBS‘ first announced project from its new limited series and event programming unit. Like Burnett and Downey’s The Bible, The Dovekeepers is an historical series with religious overtones. The Dovekeepers is a four-hour miniseries based in Alice Hoffman’s historical novel about the Siege of Masada, and it will air on CBS in 2015. The mini will focus on “four extraordinary women whose lives intersect in a fight for survival at the siege of Masada,” according to CBS. Masada is the mountaintop fortress near the Dead Sea where the Romans found the last pocket of resistance after they conquered Jerusalem in 70 CE.
“We felt [the book] was best served if the screenplay came through the heart of a strong woman and Peacock is such a woman,” Downey said in a phone interview. “I met her right before Christmas; she came to our house in Malibu and I sat down with her and she clearly loved the book. Her book had Post-its sticking out from a hundred different pages where she’d lovingly made notes. She said whether she was brought on board or not, she was forever changed from having read the book and I was elated, because I could not put this book down when I first read it. I was like a woman who had fallen in love — I was hungry, turning pages, staying up later than I should have, in the absence of being able to pick it up the next day missing the book. When I was finished I missed the characters, longed for the characters – they got under my skin”. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Ann Peacock has signed on to write Hunting Eichmann, a thriller based on the true account of Israeli agents who secretly entered pro-Nazi Argentina to capture Adolph Eichmann, known as the architect of the final solution. Tower Heist‘s Brett Ratner is attached to direct and Likely Story’s Anthony Bregman is producing with Ratner for Cathy Schulman at Mandalay Pictures. Peacock wrote Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe and is currently scripting Cinderella for Universal. The project is based on the Neal Bascomb book.
Eichmann had eluded capture for nearly two decades, until the Mossad picked up his trail and dispatched a team of agents to find him. Some of them were Holocaust survivors themselves, and the eight agents risked everything to bring Eichmann back to face trial in Israel, where he was hanged in 1962. She’s repped by CAA and Principato-Young Entertainment. Bascomb’s repped by ICM.
EXCLUSIVE: David Gardner has been promoted to partner at Principato-Young Entertainment, joining Peter Principato, Paul Young, Brian Dobbins and Allen Fischer in partner posts. Gardner has worked there since 2003 and has a client list that includes Jonathan Liebesman, Judy Greer, Ann Peacock, Neil Marshall, Brian Burns, Eriq La Salle, Ken Marino, David Ellis, Gonzalo Lopez Gallego and Nelson McCormick. Gardner is an executive producer on Caesar, the Roman epic in development at Warner Bros.