EXCLUSIVE: Michael Covino, whose movie The Climb is making its North American premiere at Telluride today, is boarding the cast of Paul Greengrass’ Tom Hanks pre-Civil War drama News of the World based on the bestselling Paulette Jiles novel.
Covino wrote, directed, produced and starred in The Climb which made its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and won the Coup de Coeur Award. The pic, which follows the long-term friendship between two guys, is an adaptation of his acclaimed short film of the same name which premiered at Sundance 2018. The Climb will continue on to play at the Toronto Film Festival on September 5.
Greengrass wrote the latest version of News of the World, which reteams him with Hanks following Captain Phillips. Luke Davies (Lion) wrote an earlier draft of the project. The pic jumped from Fox 2000 soon after the Disney/Fox merger to Universal. Hanks and Gary Goetzman are producing the film through Playtone with Gregory Goodman (22 July, Jason Bourne) as well as Gail Mutrux through her Pretty Pictures.
News of the World charts the unlikely friendship between Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd (Hanks), an earlier precursor to today’s newscasters, and the 10-year-old girl (Helena Zengel) he is tasked with bringing to her relatives.
Covino’s previous projects as a producer include Hunter Gatherer, which won a Special Jury Prize at SXSW and was nominated for the Cassavetes Award in 2017, and the feature film Kicks, which Focus released in 2016, the same year he was named to Moviemaker Magazine’s “25 Screenwriters to Watch” list.
He is repped by UTA and Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein.