EXCLUSIVE: The Man In My Basement, Walter Mosley’s acclaimed novel, is heading to the big screen with the American author scripting his own adaptation.
Nadia Latif, the emerging Sudanese-British director, has been brought onboard to helm the adaptation, her feature debut. She recently completed a run as Associate Director at the Young Vic Theatre in London, closing out her tenure with strong reviews for her direction of Jackie Sibblies Drury’s Pulitzer Prize winning play Fairview. Latif is taking part in this year’s Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab.
Diane Houslin, Mosley’s partner at production banner B.O.B Filmhouse, is producing the movie alongside Len Rowles for UK outfit Protagonist Pictures. Sales co Protagonist is also handling the project’s world rights.
The novel follows Charles Blakey, an African American man living in Sag Harbor, who is stuck in a rut, out of luck and about to lose his ancestral home when a peculiar white businessman with a European accent offers to rent his basement for the summer. This lucrative proposition leads Charles down a terrifying path that takes him to the heart of race, history and the root of all evil.
Executive Producers on the project are Dave Bishop for Protagonist Pictures and Nick Batzias for Good Thing Entertainment.
Alongside his work as a novelist, which has seen him publish more than 50 books, Mosley is also the executive producer and writer on FX series Snowfall.
Nadia Latif commented, “The Man In My Basement is a radical and terrifying takedown of race and power. I first read Walter’s book nearly 20 years ago, and it has haunted me ever since.”
Houslin said, “We have found a most formidable director in Nadia and we’re thrilled to have her at the helm. Protagonist has proven to be unwavering in their support of this project. Walter and I are looking forward to this growing partnership.”
Rowles, who heads up the development slate at Protagonist, added, “Nadia is a visionary director and Mr Mosley an inimitable voice. Their creative partnership is truly exciting and has led to a riveting genre take on this timeless classic. We are looking forward to bringing their striking work to the screen.”