Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and The Weinstein Company must have seen the smoke. Deadline reports that bidding for the upcoming book “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown had fierce competition between publishers Viking and Random House with bids going up to $750,000. Well, the Weinsteins know a hot project when they see one as they’ve snatched up the film rights and it’s already attracted a director.
Variety reports that Kenneth Branagh is attached to helm an adaptation of the book, but this is likely a long way off. The book isn’t even written yet — bidding was based around a 17-page proposal — and there’s no screenwriter on board yet either. The book tells the story of the 1936 U.S. Olympic crew team made up of University of Washington rowers who powered past rivals Harvard and Yale, and went on to embarrass Adolf Hitler‘s athletes in Berlin. The story is described as a cross between “Chariots of Fire” and “Seabiscuit” — cha-ching!
But this isn’t the only film on Branagh’s plate, as just last month he signed on to direct “Italian Shoes” with Anthony Hopkins attached to star. The story follows an old man living on a remote island who is asked by an old flame, who is dying of cancer, to fulfill a promise he once made. The plan is for the film to lens this fall. But right now, Branagh is busy prepping “Thor” as it hits theaters on May 6th.