EXCLUSIVE: Mulberry Films comes to the Croisette for the first time with the intention of turning strong literary works into films. First up: Purple America, an adaptation of the Rick Moody novel that Dennis Lee will direct and which Lee will co-write with Daniel Ragussis. This will be the first Moody novel headed for screen treatment since the Ang Lee-directed The Ice Storm. Published in 1998, Purple America is a dysfunctional family drama about how the ordinary, commonplace tragedies of life can sometimes make heroes out of very ordinary people. A fortysomething returns to Long Island to visit his invalid mom, and discovers her husband has bailed. He has to learn to face up to responsibilities. He has previously made a career avoiding this kind of thing, which is why he has not much to speak of in his empty life.

“Daniel and I are thrilled to be working with Mulberry Films on the adaptation of Rick Moody’s beautiful and moving novel,” said Lee. “Like The Ice Storm, Purple America’s poignant themes, stunning imagery, emotional honesty, and unforgettable characters make it perfectly suited for the big screen. Already a great novel, Purple America is going to be an unforgettable film.”

Gopi Sait, CEO of Mulberry Films, said that “We chose Purple America because of its timeless quality, set against a mythic nuclear background with the deterioration of the American suburbia unfolding. The way in which Rick Moody tells this story is so brilliant and memorable, it’s the kind of writing that reminds us of the classic vintage literature that we all grew up on, like John Cheever and John Steinbeck.” New York-based Mulberry has acquired two other literary works as it looks to carve a niche: The Piano Tuner by Daniel Mason, and The Collaborator by Mirza Waheed.