EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures Entertainment and Imagine Entertainment have teamed on My Stroke of Insight, brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor’s memoir about her journey back from a debilitating stroke. Ron Howard has signed on to the direct the film, and he wants Jodie as his star. But Foster isn’t formally attached at this point. But Semi Chellas is writing the script and Howard and his Imagine partner Brian Grazer are producing. The author, whose book was published last year by Plume, and Ellen Stiefler will be executive producers.
The subject matter of the complexities of the human mind puts Howard and Grazer back into terrain they covered in their Oscar-winning film A Beautiful Mind. In late 1996, the 37-year old Taylor suffered a massive stroke caused by a blood vessel that exploded in the left side of her brain. A Harvard-trained neuro-anatomist, Taylor’s brain function deteriorated in a matter or hours to where she couldn’t walk, read or write, or even recall past memories. It took 8 years for her to mend. Her knowledge of how the brain works gave her the opportunity to experience and write about brain recovery that became at times a mystical experience, as the right half compensated for the damaged left half and infused her with feelings of peace and well-being that she has tried to retain, even after struggling to reclaim her life and standing in the scientific community.
Howard just wrapped the Kevin James-Vince Vaughn-starrer The Dilemma, and he, Grazer and Akiva Goldsman recently solidified a deal for Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, in which Howard plans to direct the first of three feature films for Universal, as well as a first season of a TV series that will run on NBC between the first two pictures and feature the same cast.