〉 Isbell will adapt Kevin Fedarko’s 2013 non-fiction The Emerald Mile.
The raft is on its way down the river for the Lionsgate action adventure pic THE EMERALD MILE, with producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura boarding the project. Screenwriter Justin Isbell has been tapped to adapt the script from Kevin Fedarko’s book, which recounts the thrilling true tale of the fastest boat ride ever, down the entire length of the Colorado River and through the Grand Canyon, during a legendary flood.
Di Bonaventura, who is producing through his Di Bonaventura Pictures with Mark Vahradian, joins Russell Smith and Lianne Halfon of John Malkovich’s Mr. Mudd shingle. James Myers is the executive for Lionsgate, where the film has been set up since 2014.
The story is set in the spring of 1983, when massive flooding along the length of the Colorado River confronted a team of engineers at the Glen Canyon Dam with an unprecedented emergency that may have resulted in the most catastrophic dam failure in history. In the midst of this crisis, the decision to launch a small wooden dory named “The Emerald Mile” at the head of the Grand Canyon, just fifteen miles downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam, seemed not just odd, but downright suicidal.
The Emerald Mile, at one time slated to be destroyed, was rescued and brought back to life by Kenton Grua, the man at the oars, who intended to use this flood as a kind of hydraulic sling-shot. The goal was to nail the all-time record for the fastest boat ever propelled—by oar, by motor, or by the grace of God himself—down the entire length of the Colorado River from Lee’s Ferry to Lake Mead. See the powerful promotional video for Fedrako’s book below:
Di Bonaventura Pics adds Emerald Mile to its extensive development slate. The production company behind the blockbuster Transformers franchise, which maintains a long-standing first-look deal with Paramount, is currently in development with fifth installment of Michael Bay’s Transformers series, the Transformers projects, Die Hard: Year One, and the prehistoric shark pic Meg. The shingle’s upcoming releases include the Mark Wahlberg pic Deepwater Horizon and Kidnap with Halle Berry.
Up-and-comer Isbell, who previously worked on another ‘man vs. nature’ adventure pic, 2015’s Everest with Jake Gyllenhaal, will adapt the script. He’s currently rewriting Bethlehem, a supernatural thriller that landed on both the Black List and Blood List in 2011.
Josh Lyons | Managing Editor