Warner Bros. just nabbed the rights to photojournalist Lynsey Addario’s recently released memoir It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War, and though there was formidable competition to acquire the option, WB had a secret weapon: a can’t-lose director/star duo. Deadline reports that Warners is closing a deal to acquire the book with Steven Spielberg attached to direct and Jennifer Lawrence to star, with Andrew Lazar (American Sniper) producing.
As one of the few photojournalists with experience in Afghanistan, Addario was called to cover the American invasion after the events of 9/11. Throughout her career, she covered the Afghan people both before and during the Taliban reign, the civilian causalities of the Iraq War, and violence against women in the Congo, and she was even kidnapped by pro-Qaddafi forces in the Libyan civil war.
With such an amazing story, it’s no wonder competition was fierce to turn it into a film. Per Deadline, other suitors included Reese Witherspoon with Working Title, Darren Aronofsky with Natalie Portman, actress Margot Robbie, and The Weinstein Company was bidding for George Clooney and Grant Heslov. Ultimately, though, Addario was unable to turn down the prospect of Spielberg and Lawrence, and it appears that Warner Bros. will be the one to turn her story into a movie.
While Spielberg famously attaches himself to a number of projects that may or may not ever come to fruition (or may take a decade a la Lincoln), it feels like he’s been itching to tackle something about the Iraq War as of late. He was set to helm American Sniper and developed that project for a while before falling off, and most recently has been flirting with the prospect of helming the PTSD-centric Thank You For Your Service. Maybe Addario’s story will be the one that takes hold.
Right now, Spielberg is in post-production on an untitled Cold War thriller starring Tom Hanks that opens later this year, and is getting ready to begin filming on his family oriented Roald Dahl adaptation The BFG this summer. There’s also talk of Spielberg helming the Indiana Jones reboot with Chris Pratt, but that movie is merely an idea at this stage, so even if Spielberg does make it, it’s a ways off.
I, for one, would love to see Spielberg take on Addario’s life, especially with Lawrence in the lead role. The filmmaker has his hands full at the moment, but I’m hoping this one doesn’t fall by the wayside.
To hear about her ordeals straight from the horse’s mouth, watch Addario’s recent appearance on The Daily Show below.