Fox Searchlight has obtained the worldwide rights to Nomadland, the third feature from director Chloé Zhao, who made a splash with her most recent film, the South Dakota-set western drama The Rider. Oscar-winner Frances McDormand stars in the film along with David Strathairn. As she did with her last film, Zhao also includes non-professional actors Linda May and Charlene Swankie.
The A Highwayman Films, Hear/Say Productions, and Cor Cordium Production film is based on the non-fiction book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder, which McDormand and producer Peter Spears (Call Me By Your Name) optioned soon after it was published in 2017.
The plot follows Fern (McDormand), a woman in her 60s who, after losing everything in the Great Recession, embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad.
McDormand, Spears, Zhao, Mollye Asher, and Dan Janvey produced the pic.
The deal was brokered by Fox Searchlight’s Executive VP of Business Affairs Megan O’Brien with WME, UTA and Lichter Grossman on behalf of the talent and filmmakers.