Maggie O’Farrell Novel ‘Hamnet’ Headed For Screen From Amblin Partners, Sam Mendes’ Neal Street, Hera Pictures

Chiara Atik Hamnet
Emilia Aghamirzai; Knopf

EXCLUSIVE: Amblin Partners, Hera Pictures, Neal Street Productions are teaming on a film adaptation of the Maggie O’Farrell novel Hamnet. They’ve set Chiara Atik to write the script.

Liza Marshall, Sam Mendes and Pippa Harris are producing.

The bestselling historical fiction novel imagines the story of Agnes – the wife of the world’s most famous writer William Shakespeare – as she struggles to come to terms with the loss of her only son, Hamnet. The novel charts the emotional, familial and artistic consequences of that loss, bringing to life a human and heart-stopping story as the backdrop to the creation of Shakespeare’s most famous play, Hamlet. Hamnet won the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction and the Fiction Prize at the 2020 National Book Critics Circle Awards, and was also shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize and longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction.

Atik has previously worked with Amblin and Neal Street on Beautiful Ruins, alongside Mark Hammer. Her first film script Fairy Godmother made the 2016 Black List, and sold in a spec auction. She is a member of the Ensemble Studio Theater, and her comedy Five Times in One Night, a series of shorts about sex, drew acclaim and her plays include Five Times in One Night, Bump, and Women. Her newest play, Poor Clare, will have its world premiere in Los Angeles in September.

Amblin President of Production Jeb Brody is overseeing the project with Mia Maniscalco, SVP Creative Affairs. Amblin and Neal Street most recently worked together on the Mendes-directed Oscar winning film 1917 and next up will be Beautiful Ruins.

Edinburgh-based O’Farrell wrote the bestselling memoir I Am, I Am, I Am, and eight other novels including After You’d Gone, My Lover’s Lover, the Somerset Maugham Award-winning The Distance Between Us, and The Hand that First Held Mine, Instructions for a Heatwave, This Must be the Place, latter three of which were shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award.

Atik is repped by WME, Think Tank Management and attorney Patrick Ragen; O’Farrell is repped by Conrad Williams at Blake Friedmann Literary Agency and Victoria Hobbs at AMHeath.

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