Hollywood star Benedict Cumberbatch has signed to star in Dylan Southern’s adaptation of Max Porter’s acclaimed novel ‘Grief is the Thing With Feathers’.
The story follows a father and his two young sons dealing with the sudden death of their wife and mother, reports ‘Deadline’.
Cumberbatch will play a young father whose hold on reality crumbles following his wife’s death as a strange presence begins to stalk him from the shadowy recesses of the apartment he shares with his two young sons.
This mysterious creature, known as ‘Crow’, seemingly brought to life from the pages of his work as an illustrator, becomes a very real part of all their lives, ultimately guiding them towards the new shape family must take.
As per ‘Deadline’, the feature adaptation, entitled ‘The Thing With Feathers’, is produced by Andrea Cornwell with SunnyMarch’s Adam Ackland and Leah Clarke. The script was developed with Film4, which will executive produce and co-finance. The crow figure will be created for the screen in collaboration with the sculptor Nicola Hicks.
Porter’s bestselling 2016 first novel was named a Sunday Times ‘Top 100 Novel of the Twenty-first Century’ and has been sold in 29 territories. It was also adapted into an acclaimed stage play that opened in Dublin in March 2018, and then toured to New York, Galway and London.
“Having been a huge fan of Max Porter’s extraordinary book and Enda Walsh’s stage adaptation I was skeptical about a film adaptation. But the experience of reading Dylan Southern’s adaptation rekindled the cinematic memory of reading this most visceral tale of a family consumed by grief,” said Cumberbatch.
“Dylan has handled the deftness of Max’s kinetic poetry masterfully. It’s so well realised both on the page and in the deck and pitch. It holds all the wildly sharp turns of changing tones and colours between the domestic and mythic, between the despair, comedy, and every day of loss. It’s a thrilling read, and I couldn’t be more excited to be taking Dylan’s cinematic vision of it to the big screen”, he added.