Mudbound filmmaker Dee Rees, who may find herself in awards contention for that upcoming Netflix movie, has signed on to direct an adaptation of Joan Didion’s bestselling 1996 political thriller THE LAST THING HE WANTED, it was announced Wednesday.
Marco Villalobos will write the script for the film, which is described as a political thriller in the vein of The Parallax View. The story follows a Washington Post journalist who is thrown unexpectedly into the dangerous world of arms dealing.
Elevated’s Cassian Elwes (Dallas Buyers Club) optioned the book last year from Didion to develop it in partnership with Rees following their incredible collaboration on Mudbound, which played to standing ovations at Sundance and Toronto.
As part of their first-look deal with Elwes, the Fyzz Facility has come onboard to develop the project with an eye to co-financing the film once it’s ready to go.
“This work is one of my favorite Joan Didion novels and is a brilliant and layered piece of fiction. I am forever attracted to interesting, unexpected characters and Didion is one of the greatest masters of the form. I’m so excited to be able to interpret this literary masterpiece,” said Rees.
“As longtime admirer of Joan Didion, we couldn’t be more excited to bring one of her most compelling works of fiction to life. And Dee’s take on this piece has a unique tension and depth,” added Elwes.
Mudbound, which Netflix will release in November, is set in the post-WWII South and tells the story of two families pitted against a barbaric social hierarchy and an unrelenting landscape as they simultaneously fight battles at home and abroad.
Rees’ debut feature Pariah premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and went on to win several awards including the John Cassavetes Award at the Independent Spirit Awards, and the Gotham Award for Best Breakthrough Director. Rees also wrote and directed the 2015 HBO film Bessie, which won four Emmys. Rees is represented by WME.
The Fyzz Facility and Elevated have collaborated on a number of films, including Justin Kelly’s JT Leroy starring Kristen Stewart and Laura Dern, and Victor Levin’s comedy Destination Wedding starring Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder — both of which are in post-production.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief