EXCLUSIVE: In an exceptionally brisk year for movie option deals made based on short films and short stories, nobody has outdone Matthew Baker. The short story writer’s To Be Read Backwards has sold to Fox to be developed as a feature directing vehicle for Noah Hawley. Hawley — who after TV triumphs Fargo and Legion, just wrapped his featured directing debut with the Fox Searchlight NASA drama Pale Blue Dot with Natalie Portman — will produce through his 26 Keys banner with Leigh Kittay. Matt Reilly is overseeing for Fox.
To Be read Backwards is a mind bending take on man who begins his life at his death and learns about himself as he, and the world, unravel in reverse, ultimately revealing humanity and mystery. Studio will set a writer while Hawley finishes post on his film.
For Baker, this marks the fourth story that’s being turned into a movie. Earlier this year, Netflix won an 8-studio auction for Life Sentence for Matt Reeves to produce through his 6th & Idaho banner. This followed a deal for Baker’s first short story, Transition, which sold to Amazon in a bidding battle. Hawley is part of that deal as producer, with Joe Epstein adapting. Baker’s second short story, The Appearance, sold to Makeready with The Picture Company producing.
Hawley’s first look is at Fox, and he is separately producing Man Alive, with Hiro Murai directing.
CAA brokered the deal. Hawley’s lawyered by McKuin Frankel Whitehead.