Lenny Abrahamson (What Richard Did, Garage) will direct the film adaptation of the international bestseller ROOM, with a script by author Emma Donoghue, and Ed Guiney of Element Pictures producing.
Shortlisted for the Man Booker, Orange and Commonwealth Prizes, ROOM has sold two and half million copies in English and appeared in thirty-five other languages.
ROOM tells the story of Jack, a five-year-old growing up somewhere in America in an 11-by-11-foot shed he believes to be the whole world; his playful, devoted young mother has shielded him from the truth that they are captives.
The New York Times hailed Donoghue’s novel as ‘one of the pure triumphs of recent fiction… palm-sweatingly harrowing’, while Time called it ‘a feat of infectious claustrophobia’; the Irish Times described it as ‘part childhood adventure story, part adult thriller… above all the most vivid, radiant and beautiful expression of maternal love’.
Abrahamson, who is currently in post-production on his feature Frank, starring Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Michael Fassbender, says ‘ROOM is an extraordinary novel – deeply original, harrowing, full of moments of almost unbearable tension, but also – and this is what is so special about it – profoundly life-affirming. From the moment I read it I wanted to make it for the screen and so I am truly delighted to be working with Emma on the film adaptation.’
Emma Donoghue, who lives in Canada, began writing the screenplay as soon as ROOM (her seventh novel) was published. She is overjoyed to be making the film with her fellow Dubliners Abrahamson and Guiney. ‘It wasn’t just Lenny’s award-winning, impeccably honest films that won me over, but a ten-page letter he sent me, describing with passionate intelligence his vision of how to translate my novel into cinema. As an Irish company with strong international relationships, Element has a track record of combining artistic integrity and commercial appeal, which gives me confidence that ROOM is going to be something very special.’
Ed Guiney (The Guard, Shadow Dancer), who has been involved the production of all of Abrahamson’s films says ‘from the moment we first encountered ROOM we were entranced by the story and the possibility of making it as a film. I couldn’t be more excited about what Lenny and Emma will do in adapting this remarkable novel for the screen.’
Donoghue’s screen agent for ROOM, United Talent Agency negotiated the film rights on behalf of the author and publishing agents Kathy Anderson in New York and Caroline Davidson in London. UTA is also representing North American rights in the film and will work closely with Element on its financing.