Award-winning filmmaker Sarah Polley has optioned the feature rights to Zoe Whittall’s novel THE BEST KIND OF PEOPLE with plans to write and direct the adaptation. The book explores rape culture from multiple perspectives, including the victim, the perpetrator, and their families and friends.
The story follows a respected prep school teacher who is arrested for a sex crime — news that devastates his family, who become social pariahs as their community turns on them even though there are still questions surrounding his guilt.
Polley is the gifted filmmaker behind the Alzheimer’s drama Away From Her, for which she earned an Oscar nomination, and the ambitious documentary Stories We Tell, in which she chronicled her own journey to discover the truth about her real lineage, eventually learning that the man who raised her was not her biological father. It’s those two films that show why The Best Kind of People is in good hands with Polley, who seems attuned to the dramatic relationship dynamics that make up a family unit, and can certainly relate to having family secrets.
A national bestseller in the author’s native Canada, Whittall’s book will hit U.S. shelves this fall. She previously wrote the acclaimed novels Holding Still for as Long as Possible and Bottle Rocket Hearts, while her TV credits include Degrassi and Eugene Levy’s Schitt’s Creek.
Polley most recently adapted Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace as a six-part Netflix/CBC limited series that she’ll also executive produce. She’s represented by WME, Circle of Confusion, the Gary Goddard Agency and Jackoway Tyerman, while Whittall was repped in the deal by Paradigm on behalf of Transatlantic Agency.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news of Polley working on The Best Kind of People.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief