George Saunders’ ‘Home’ Acquired By Tobey Maguire’s Material Pictures, ‘A Monster Calls’ Writer Patrick Ness Set

By Anita Busch, Mike Fleming Jr

EXCLUSIVE: It’s a timely story about a veteran’s trouble with his broken family after returning home from war. Tobey Maguire has acquired George Saunders’ short story Home and is developing it as a feature film with A Monster Calls author-screenwriter Patrick Ness already hired to adapt. Home first appeared in the June 30, 2011, issue of The New Yorker. Maguire will produce with Matthew Plouffe.

Ness previously adapted his bestselling YA trilogy Chaos Walking for Lionsgate, which is in pre-production with Doug Liman directing and Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland set to star.

Ness and Saunders will be executive producers on Home with Material’s Sally Willcox and Richard Weinberg. Saunders’ first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo was a No. 1 New York Times bestseller. He has been the recipient of many honors including a MacArthur Fellowship, a PEN/Malamud Award and a Folio Prize. He also was a finalist for the National Book Award.

In television, Ness created the BBC-produced Doctor Who spin-off, Class, on which he also serves as executive producer.

Material most recently set up the Mark Heyman-scripted Black Panthers-vs.-SWAT drama The Standoff at Netflix for Justin Lin to direct. The company has also been actively acquiring novels. One of those is Eliza Kennedy’s I Take You, which is being developed as a feature from Whiplash producer Helen Estabrook.

Other projects on Material’s slate includes one that Maguire will direct himself — the Jo Nesbo adaptation of Blood on Snow. In addition, Maguire and Plouffe recently produced Pawn Sacrifice, Z for Zachariah and The 5th Wave.

Saunders is repped by ICM Partners. Ness is repped by CAA, Michelle Kass and attorney Howard Abramson. Material is repped by WME and Management 360. Attorneys at Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller & Gellman, L.L.P. brokered the deals for Material.

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