EXCLUSIVE: The Mazur/Kaplan Company and Olympus Pictures have optioned Holly Goldberg Sloan’s bestselling novel Counting By 7s. They’ve attached Oscar-nominated Beasts Of The Southern Wild star Quvenzhané Wallis and will build the movie around her. The bestseller centers on Willow Chance, a bright young girl who, after the death of her adoptive parents, is taken in by an unlikely surrogate family and an unfit guidance counselor. In the wake of tremendous loss, she rises to build a community that she heals and that heals her.
“I am honored to play the role of Willow in Counting by 7s,” Wallis said. “I love the message behind the story. I am excited to be a part of it and to see it come to life.” Wallis just wrapped her first big studio film in the musical Annie, and also will star in the upcoming adaptation of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, and Fathers And Daughters alongside Russell Crowe.
Pic’s produced by Mazur/Kaplan’s Paula Mazur and Mitchell Kaplan, and Leslie Urdang and Dean Vanech’s Olympus Pictures (Beginners, Thanks For Sharing). Latter is currently in production on David Lindsay Abaire’s adaptation of Kevin Wilson’s bestselling novel The Family Fang, with Jason Bateman directing and starring with Nicole Kidman. Mazur and Kaplan’s book-centric production company has numerous bestselling titles cued for production, including The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society, The Silent Wife, and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand.
Also producing Counting By 7s is Sloan, who as screenwriter counts Angels In The Outfield and Made In America among her credits, before she started writing novels. Wallis is repped by ICM and Lichter, Grossman, Nichols Adler & Feldman, Inc. Writers House brokered the deal on behalf of Sloan.