〉The biting dark comedy by Stephen Eirik Clark received high critical acclaim.
Olympus Pictures has picked up the critically acclaimed satirical novel SWEETNESS #9. Favorably compared to Thank You For Smoking, Stephan Eirik Clark’s debut novel tackles the artificial flavoring industry in a comical light. Olympus president Leslie Urdang will produce the adaptation, while VP Amanda Beckner will oversee development.
Sweetness #9 takes place in 1973, following David Leveraux, a man who lands his dream job as a flavorist-in-training at a corporation behind the creation of many popular artificial sweeteners. Soon, David is forced to confront a terrible truth after the animal testing of new product called “Sweetness #9” provokes negative results. Against his beliefs, he gives up on fighting the company and fails to destroy the product. Years later, the sweetener has now become the most popular product in the country, effecting families worldwide, including David’s. The nature of the symptoms are comical, such as effected subjects rendered unable to use verbs
The debut novel by Clark was published in August of 2014, quickly gaining attention from critics due to its sharp wit and biting satire. Clark effortlessly weaves heavy themes of addiction and corruption with over-the-top humor. Stephen Colbert famously promoted the novel in his public fight against Amazon last yea, citing its timely and prevalent themes. Prior to Sweetness #9, Clark penned the short story collection Vladimir’s Mustache, which became a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award.
The novel’s tone fits with Olympus’ repertoire, having previously produced edgy dramedies such as Beginners, for which Christopher Plummer received an Oscar, the Hugh Laurie/Leighton Meester starrer The Oranges, and Thank You For Sharing, which deals with the heavy theme of battling sex addiction. Up next, they’ll produce the Counting by 7’s adaptation starring Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis and an untitled drama for director Mukunda Michael Dewil.
Lou Chase | Staff Writer