EXCLUSIVE: Miramax has optioned Free Radicals, a short story by Nobel Prize-winning author Alice Munro, which revolves around the harrowing encounter between a young killer on the run and an ailing widow.
The story will be adapted by writer-director Xia Magnus and producer Alyssa Polk, with Magnus also attached to direct. Polk and Magnus previously teamed up for 2020’s atmospheric horror-thriller Sanzaru, which played at the Slamdance and Fantasia Film Festivals. Sanzaru, a horror thriller, follows a fragile home health aide who begins to question her own sanity as dementia engulfs her employer.
Free Radicals will be produced by Jon Shestack, who brought the package to Miramax.
Shestack says “The story, like so much of Alice Munro’s work, is dark and intelligent. The encounter between the main characters is so unexpected and intense, it feels like it was conceived for the screen.”
Shestack most recently produced Before I Fall and is producing Old Man’s War at Netflix and The Last Adventure of Constance Verity at Legendary.
Munro is the first Canadian and 13th woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. Her fiction, which has appeared in such journals as The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, The New Yorker and The Paris Review is often set in her native Huron County in southwestern Ontario. She is also the 2009 Man Booker International Prize winner for her lifetime body of work. Since the 1980s, Munro has published a short-story collection at least once every four years, most recently in 2001, 2004, 2006, 2009, and 2012.
Magnus is repped by DISSIDENT.