J.C. Chandor has signed on to produce with an eye to direct the film adaptation of Vicky Ward’s The Liar’s Ball for A24 (Ex Machina). The book was optioned with Chandler in mind to helm. Screenwriter Gideon Yago (The Newsroom) has just closed a deal to adapt and is researching and writing now.
The story, written by the former Vanity Fair contributor, follows industry titans fighting it out over one of the crown jewels of New York City real estate. Much of the story in the book focuses on Harry Macklowe and his battles to own and re-develop the G.M. Building in the 1990s and into the 2000s. That battle resulted in the now famous Apple Store “glass cube” but also ultimately in Macklowe losing the building. After rebounding, he built a new real estate empire.
Chandor, who left directing duties for Deepwater Horizon earlier this year, will produce the picture alongside his longtime producers Neal Dodson and Anna Gerb and with their A Most Violent Year distributor A24 and producer-financier Eva Maria Daniels of VisionChaos Productions. Zachary Quinto, who produced and starred in Chandor’s Margin Call, will executive produce.
The book, published by Wiley, tells the full history of New York’s famed G.M. Building (which faces the southeast corner of Central Park) from before it was built to the present. “When I heard J.C. wanted to turn my book into a movie I couldn’t believe it! I always try —as far as journalistic license allows — to condense time and space in my work the way he does, so that in the foreground, you have larger-than-life characters thrashing about in extremes and the reader has no choice but to get inside their headspace and see things from their perspective,” Ward said in a statement. “A24’s collaboration with J.C. and his team on A Most Violent Year was a perfect example of that. So I am just thrilled that they want to take on the clash of brutal, battling egos that comprises the fractious, ruthless, scarcely believable world of New York real estate.”
A24 and VisionChaos Productions are working together on a slate of development projects, with A24 set to distribute the films when they are ready.
Chandor recently wrote the screenplay for a film about Vince Lombardi for Legendary Pictures and is developing several other projects concurrently. Gerb is putting together films with directors Liza Johnson and Maryam Keshvaraz. Dodson and Quinto have Camille Thoman’s You Were Never Here in post-production starring Mirielle Enos and Sam Shepard, Brian Shoaf’s Aardvark in pre-production to star Quinto, and they produced the DGA-winning documentary series The Chair with Chris Moore for Starz. All four are repped by CAA, as is screenwriter Yago. Ward is represented by WME.