EXCLUSIVE: Adrian Munsey’s Classic Film Productions has partnered with David A. Stern and D. Matt Geller’s Sleeping Giant Films to develop EM Forster’s 1907 novel, The Longest Journey, as a feature. They’ve hired Angus Fletcher to adapt; his Sand Dogs made the 2009 Black List, the same year he won a Nicholl Fellowship. Munsey, Stern and Geller are producing.

Nathan Parker
Forster, whose classic novels include Howards End, A Room With A View and A Passage To India centered The Longest Journey on Rickie, a sensitive and intelligent young man with an intense imagination who sets out full of hope to become a writer. Giving up his aspirations and opting for convention and marriage to Agnes, he gradually finds himself sinking into conformity and bitter disappointment until he once again realizes his dreams of literary ambition.

As an undergraduate at Cambridge, Munsey happened to live in a room above Forster, who was then in his 80s, and discussed the novel with him at length. “It is a happy combination of circumstances that we are starting on producing Forster’s own favorite of his novels… It is wonderful how the novel has stood the test of time and feels even more relevant and modern than ever before,” Munsey says.

Fletcher, who also penned the script for JRR Tolkien biopic Middle Earth, says the book has “existed as a secret treasure.”

Forster once described Journey as the book he was “most glad to have written.” It is the last of his novels not yet adapted for film or television. The project reunites Stern, who is executive producing the BBC miniseries adaptation of Howards End, with the Forster estate.

Jonathan Sissons of Peters Fraser & Dunlop negotiated the deal on behalf of the Forster Estate. Fletcher is represented by APA and McKuin Framnkel Whitehead LLP.