EXCLUSIVE: Ridley Scott has teamed with Giannina Facio and Colet Abedi to option Dying To Be Me, the bestselling book by Anita Moorjani. They will produce through Ridley Scott Films and Cara Films Ltd. In the book, Moorjani writes of her four-year battle against cancer, when she felt she was near the end. Overwhelmed by malignant cells, her body began shutting down. As her organs failed, she entered into an extraordinary near-death experience where she realized her inherent worth and the actual cause of her disease.
Upon regaining consciousness, her condition improved. She wrote in the book that within three days, 70% of her cancer was gone. Shortly after, she was declared cancer free. In the book, she recounted stories of her Hong Kong childhood, the search for true love, leading to a near end in a hospital bed. Raised in a Hindu family that lived in Chinese and British society, she came away from near death with an epiphany that miracles are popular. She has a large social media following, and has been interviewed about her experiences on numerous TV shows.
It is unclear whether Scott will eye this as something to direct. He stepped out of that role on Concussion, the project that Scott and Facio optioned from a GQ article, which put the resulting movie, the Peter Landesman-directed Concussion, ahead of several projects about the growing problem of brain injuries that now plagues the National Football League. Sony Pictures opens the Will Smith-starrer December 25 in the heat of both football and Oscar season.
While Scott and Facio were ahead of the curve on that one, Dying To Be Me falls in with a line of faith based films that have done well at the box office, drawing moviegoers who are looking to believe in something. Scott just completed directing The Martian with Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain at Fox.