Dublin-based Element Pictures has acquired film and TV rights to Laird Hunt’s 2014 Civil War novel Neverhome. The company has set Frank helmer Lenny Abrahamson to direct with Ed Guiney producing. The just-published Little Brown title is drumming up critical raves and tells the story of a farmer’s faithful wife who leaves her husband to don the uniform of a Union soldier. Disguised as a man, she becomes a hero, a folk legend, a madwoman and a traitor to the American cause. There’s also an air of mystery to the story: Why did she leave, and her husband stay? Why can she not return? What will she have to go through to make it back home?
This marks a reteam for Element and Abrahamson after collaborating on such pics as 2012’s What Richard Did, this year’s Sundance hit Frank starring Michael Fassbender in a giant papier-mâché head, and the upcoming Room with Brie Larson. Abrahamson is currently in pre-production on the latter, an adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s award-winning novel, in Canada. He’s repped by WME and Casarotto Ramsay.
Hunt is the author of several fiction novels and a two-time finalist for the PEN Center USA Award in Fiction. The rights deal was brokered by Lesley Thorne, Aitken Alexander Associates Ltd, on behalf of Anna Stein, AAA LLC New York and by Guiney and Mark Byrne for Element.