EXCLUSIVE: Ridley Scott and Giannina Facio have acquired screen rights to Embraced By The Light, the bestselling book by Betty J. Eadie. Scott and Facio will produce with Colet Abedi. While films like Heaven Is For Real have overachieved at the box office, this was the book that started the trend of people describing near death experiences where the subject glimpsed the afterlife before being pulled back to life. Eadie, at age 31, died for four hours after complications from a hysterectomy operation. The book covers her experience and things she learned that she could not have known. It sold over 20 million copies when published in 1992, and was the number one book on the New York Times Bestseller List for 78 weeks.
Scott is plenty busy directing–he wrapped Exodus and is prepping the Matt Damon-starrer The Martian, he and Facio have become very opportunistic in picking off books and articles they feel will make worthy films. They set up the GQ article Game Brain that became the untitled project at Sony Pictures that Peter Landesman scripted and will direct about the discovery of CTE, the concussion syndrome that has destroyed former gridiron greats who played in pain and endured concussions. Will Smith is playing Dr. Bennet Omalu, the forensic pathologist who discovered the condition. Alec Baldwin, Albert Brooks and Gugu Mbatha-Raw will also star. Scott and Facio produce with Shuman Company’s David Wolthoff and Larry Shuman. The National Football League wound up paying $765 million in settlement money to ex-players in what has become another hot button issue in the NFL.
Scott, Facio and Abedi think they’ve got another in The Devil In The Kitchen: Sex, Pain, Madness And The Making Of A Great Chef. They are developing this movie about Marco Pierre White, who emerged from a tumultuous childhood upbringing to become a rock star chef in 1980s London. Surrounded by music, fashion and food during London’s cultural evolution, White trained Gordon Ramsay and Mario Batali and was a pioneer of the celebrity chef movement. He was the first and youngest chef to win three Michelin stars and was also the only one to ever give them all back. He was the original chain-smoking, pot-throwing enfant terrible of the kitchen.