EXCLUSIVE: Laurent Bouzereau, the director of Netflix’s riveting World War II documentary Five Came Back and the upcoming HBO doc Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind, has acquired rights to Mama’s Boy: A Story From Our Americas, the recent memoir by Oscar-winning screenwriter and activist Dustin Lance Black. The plan is to adapt it into a feature-length documentary.
Meetings are now underway with investors and distributors, with the aim to release a film in late 2020.
“I couldn’t be more pleased to place our family’s story in Laurent’s extremely capable hands,” Black said. “My hope is that he will shine a bright light on the unexpected ways some in our family built ‘impossible’ bridges across great political divides.”
The book, published by Knopf in April, recounts how the stories Black grew up with in the South helped him become a storyteller in his own right. That includes his personal story, which features his mother at the center: a victim of childhood polio, she had no use of her legs but refused to let that stop her. He inherited her strong will and optimism, traits put to the test when, at age 6, he realized he was gay and lived in fear growing up in a devout Mormon family. Although he considered suicide at age 12, it did not deter him from his eventual path: the Oscar-winning scribe of Milk, a gay-rights advocate, and one of the leaders of the successful repeal of California’s Prop 8.
“Mama’s Boy is one of those books that speaks a universal language,” Bouzereau said. “Even though I come from a different background, I completely identified with Lance’s inspiring journey. It also felt immediately cinematic, and a story I wanted to explore visually. This will make for a fantastic, powerful and timely documentary.”
Black, who created as well as wrote and directed ABC’s 2017 miniseries When We Rise, is repped by CAA,. Bouzereau is repped by WME.