EXCLUSIVE: Matthew McConaughey has become attached to star in a Matthew Michael Carnahan-scripted adaptation of Christopher McDougall’s best-selling book, Born To Run: A Hidden Tribe, Super Athletes, And The Greatest Race The World Has Never Seen. The film is being mobilized by Di Bonaventura Pictures, Outlaw Productions and LD Entertainment. The latter is financing, and Mickey Liddell, Deb Newmyer and Lorenzo di Bonaventura are producing.
The book told the story of how an award-winning journalist and often-injured runner headed for Mexico’s isolated, deadly Copper Canyons to find out how the blissful Tarahumara Indians honed the ability to run hundreds of miles without rest or injury. He tags along to discover their secrets and takes readers from Harvard science labs to sun-baked valleys and freezing peaks across North America, where ever-growing numbers of ultra-runners are pushing their bodies to the limit. This led to a climactic race in the Copper Canyons that pitted America’s best ultra-runners against the tribe.
The book spent 178 weeks on the NYT Bestseller list and is still selling 10,000 copies a month. It ignited the ‘barefoot running movement,” one of the most influential exercise innovations of the past decade and the catalyst for a new $2 billion industry in “barefoot-style” shoes. The book’s a bestseller in 12 countries and sold 2 million copies in the U.S. and half that around the world.
It’s another unexpected choice for McConaughey, who totally turned his career around doing indie films from Mud to Killer Joe to Dallas Buyers Club and HBO’s True Detective. He most recently wrapped Gus Van Sant’s The Sea Of Trees, and next stars for director Gary Ross in The Free State Of Jones, which was acquired by upstart company STX Entertainment.
Carnahan, repped by CAA and attorney Stuart Rosenthal, has script credits that include State Of Play, World War Z and most recently Deepwater Horizon, the oil-spill disaster tale for Lionsgate that di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian are producing with David Womarck, with A Most Violent Year‘s J.C. Chandor directing and Mark Wahlberg starring.
McConaughey’s repped by CAA and attorney Kevin Morris.