Mockingbird: Honey Boy Director to Helm Adaptation of Novel From The Queen's Gambit Author

After The Queen's Gambit became a smash success following a Netflix television series in 2020, another legendary Walter Tevis novel is headed into live action. On Wednesday, it was announced that Honey Boy director Alma Har'el will be directing a feature adaptation of Mockingbird, a 1980 science fiction novel penned by Tevis. The adaptation, which will be made for Searchlight Pictures, is being regarded as a passionate project for Har'el. Har'el will produce the project, alongside Nightmare Alley producer J. Miles Dale, Iron Will producer Robert Schwartz, and Har'el's partner, Christopher Leggett. Alejandro Laguette and Rafael Marmor are executive producing.

Mockingbird paints a perilous future of a declining human population, fueled by drugs and electronic bliss. A world without art, children, or books where humanity's future hinges on a love triangle between an android, a man and a woman. The novel was nominated for a Nebula Award, and has remained a cult classic in the years since its initial publication.

"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," Ha'rel said in a statement. "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."

This marks a long-running journey of Mockingbird potentially being adapted, with Tevis revealing in one of his last televised interviews that PBS had planned an adaptation of it, but it never came into fruition.

"I don't design my books to have a par­ticular outcome, but they do wind up in a kind of uncertain way," Tevis explained in an interview with Brick. "Mockingbird ends up deliber­ately hopeful. I wanted it to be hopeful. I feel hopeful. I feel a lot more hopeful about life than I used to. I feel a hell of a lot better about living. I like the fact that the grass is green. I really am pleased with that in a way that I didn't used to be."

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This will be the latest adaptation of Tevis' work to be made a reality, between Netflix's The Queen's Gambit and multiple incarnations of The Man Who Fell to Earth, including an upcoming television version on Showtime led by Chiwetel Ejiofor, Naomie Harris, and Bill Nighy.

h/t: Deadline