The Secret by Rhonda Byrne — which was in The New York Times’ bestseller’s list for over three and a half years — is being made into a film and Katie Holmes has been set to star. The film adaptation will be directed by Andy Tennant (Hitch, Sweet Home Alabama) from a screenplay by Bekah Brunstetter, writer on NBC’s hit drama This Is Us with Tennant and longtime writing partner Rick Parks (Ever After: A Cinderella Story). Covert Media’s CEO Paul Hanson and Robert Cort are producing.
The self-help book, published in 2009, became an instant bestseller and had a top-notch marketing campaign behind it. It ended up selling 30 million copies worldwide and was translated into 50 different languages. It remained on The New York Times bestseller list for 190 weeks. That’s a little over three years and six months. The problem has been over the years is how to catch that lightning in a bottle for the big screen.
A film had been done previously with an Australian-based production company, but it never got a theatrical release and went straight to DVD. This time around, there are some veteran filmmakers on the project with Tennant and also Cort, who has produced many, many films including: Outrageous Fortune, Three Men and a Baby, Three Men and A Little Lady, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, Cocktail, Class Action, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, The Cutting Edge, Terminal Velocity, Operation Dumbo Drop, Bird on a Wire, Jumanji, Runaway Bride, Mr. Holland’s Opus and Save the Last Dance.
This new movie will center on a hard-working young widow (Holmes) with three children who hires a handyman to fix her house during a terrible storm. As the handyman grows closer to the family, he shares his philosophy of believing in the power of the universe to deliver what we want, but the widow soon realizes he carries a secret connection to her past.
“Our filmmakers have created a compelling family love story that embodies the principles of The Secret,” Cort said in a statement. “We intend to make a film as funny, emotional and endearing as its message is hopeful.”
Covert will finance and handle worldwide sales on the feature. Covert’s Elissa Friedman (Ophelia) will serve as an executive producer alongside MCC’s Sasha Shapiro (Fury) and Anton Lessine (Fading Gigolo).
Author Byrne said: “I am so excited that the film version of The Secret is finally here. This movie will not only be a great thrill for The Secret fans across the planet, it’s also certain to ripple out and touch millions more people.”
Holmes will next be seen in Steven Soderbergh’s soon to be released Logan Lucky on Aug. 18 and also has a cameo in the upcoming Ocean’s Eight which Warner Bros. drops on June 8 of next year.
Tennant has previously directed Ever After: A Cinderella Story starring Drew Barrymore which grossed $98M worldwide in 1998, Sweet Home Alabama starring Reese Witherspoon which grossed $180.6M worldwide in 2002, and Hitch starring Will Smith which garnered over $368.1M worldwide in 2005.
Brunstetter’s credits include Switched at Birth on ABC and the short film Again, which premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival. In addition to the aforementioned hit series This Is Us on NBC, she is currently working on the Starz! tv show American Gods staring Gillian Anderson and Crispin Glover.
Holmes is repped by ICM, Untitled Entertainment, and Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern. Tennant is repped by Paradigm and Echo Lake Management. Brunstetter is repped by WME.