MGM is teaming with Plan B, Harpo Films and Kamilah Forbes on the film adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ 2019 bestselling novel The Water Dancer, the studio said Tuesday. Coates will adapt the screenplay and Kamilah Forbes, Plan B and Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo will produce.
The first fiction work from Coates (he won the National Book Award in 2015 for Between the World and Me) enters on Hiram Walker, born into slavery in Virginia. As a child, he loses his mother and over time loses all memory of her. Now a young man, Hiram almost drowns when he crashes a carriage into a river, but is saved from the depths by a mysterious power he never realized he had and struggles to understand.
Winfrey made The Water Dancer one of her Oprah’s Book Club selections. Her Harpo and Plan B previously collaborated on the 2014 Martin Luther King pic Selma which was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar.
Forbes developed and directed the theater version of Between the World and Me at the Apollo Theater and Kennedy Center and also directed Between the World and Me for HBO.
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