EXCLUSIVE: Joan Didion’s seminal essay Goodbye To All That was just optioned for the big screen by producers Megan Carlson and Brian Sullivan who have set up the project as the first in their new shingle, Carlson Sullivan Pictures LLC. This is yet another Didion work to be optioned as her novel A Book of Common Prayer has also been picked up for a feature treatment by Campbell Scott. Carlson and Sullivan are currently focusing in on female writer/directors to bring the essay to the screen.
The optioning of Goodbye To All That comes at a time when Didion’s work is getting new life. The iconic Didion is the new face of the Celine fashion house and her nephew/director Griffin Dunne’s Kickstarter -funded documentary about Didion, We Tell Ourselves Stories In Order To Live, is in the works with co-director Susanne Rostock. Didion started as a staff writer at Vogue before becoming a prominent writer.
Goodbye To All That is an autobiography about Didion going to New York when she was in her 20s and covers the entire period of her life there until 1964 when she and her newlywed husband John Gregory Dunne moved to Los Angeles and thus, began her very well-known writing career as a journalist, essayist, author and screenwriter (with her husband).
This has been a long time coming for Sullivan. “It’s been a dream of mine for years to bring this essay to the screen,” said Sullivan. “I tried to option it as a student when I was at the San Francisco Art Institute and was turned down. It’s been a part of my being for 40 years, and then the planets aligned and here we are. The moment has come for Goodbye To All That.”
Sullivan and Carlson have had a long friendship. They used to work together at George Lucas’ ILM and then at Anonymous Content before founding their new production company.Those involved in the deal was, of course, ICM Partner’s Boaty Boatwright who is friends with Didion as well as the agency’s Ron Bernstein who reps Didion in film, Eric M. Brooks from Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal LaViolette Feldman Schenkman and Goodman on behalf of the author and Steven C. Beer from Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell, and Vassallo on behalf of the producers.