The star of Prison Break and the pen behind the screenplay for Stoker, Wentworth Miller is now being courted to take up the adaptation of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. Written by David Wroblewski, the bestselling literary novel follows the titular protagonist, a mute boy in the American heartland who raises a fictional breed of dog with his family. While that description sounds a bit odd, the story is actually a contemporary retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, albeit replacing the kingdom of Denmark with rural Wisconsin. The novel was part of Oprah Winfrey’s book club in 2008; Winfrey will produce alongside Kate Forte, partnering with Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman. Hit the jump for more.
THR reports that Miller is in negotiations to adapt The Story of Edgar Sawtelle for Universal. A previous draft was turned in by William Broyles Jr. (Apollo 13). Miller wouldn’t have been my first pick for the adaptation, but his previous screenplay effort, Stoker, actually has some similar thematic and plot elements to Edgar Sawtelle. That dramatic horror thriller, directed by Chan-wook Park, stars Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska and Dermot Mulroney. For those of you who are unfamiliar with The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, here’s the book description (via Amazon):
Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. For generations, the Sawtelles have raised and trained a fictional breed of dog whose remarkable gift for companionship is epitomized by Almondine, Edgar’s lifelong friend and ally. Edgar seems poised to carry on his family’s traditions, but when catastrophe strikes, he finds his once-peaceful home engulfed in turmoil.
Forced to flee into the vast wilderness lying beyond the Sawtelle farm, Edgar comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who accompany him, until the day he is forced to choose between leaving forever or returning home to confront the mysteries he has left unsolved.
Filled with breathtaking scenes—the elemental north woods, the sweep of seasons, an iconic American barn, a fateful vision rendered in the falling rain—The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is a meditation on the limits of language and what lies beyond, a brilliantly inventive retelling of an ancient story, and an epic tale of devotion, betrayal, and courage in the American heartland.