EXCLUSIVE: 2oth Century Fox and Miracles From Heaven producer DeVon Franklin have preemptively acquired The Impossible, a book proposal by Joyce Smith that tells the inspiring true story of John Smith. When he was 14, Smith drowned in Lake St. Louis and was dead for nearly an hour. According to reports at the time, CPR was performed 27 minutes to no avail. Then the youth’s mother, Joyce Smith, entered the room, praying loudly. Suddenly, there was a pulse, and Smith came around. Seven Pounds scribe Grant Nieporte is attached to write the script while Smith finishes the book.
It is the first project set at Fox for Franklin Entertainment since the producer moved his deal there. Smith’s story made national headlines in 2015, and the book proposal hatched a bidding battle won by Hachette Books, which will publish later this year.
Franklin, the preacher, motivational speaker, author, and former studio exec, was moved by the miracle and helped the family find a lit agent and develop the book proposal to become the foundation for the film. Franklin is coming off the Jennifer Garner-Queen Latifah film Miracles From Heaven, which grossed $73 million on a $15 million budget. Next for him is The Star for Sony Pictures Animation, with reboots of He-Man And Masters Of The Universe at Sony, Cooley High at MGM, and a TV series reimagining of Foxy Brown at Hulu with Meagan Good starring.
Franklin’s repped by CAA and attorney John Miegs, Nieporte by David Krintzman, and Smith by Dupree-Miller & Associates.