Filmmaker Debra Granik earned an impressive four Oscar nominations for 2010’s “Winter’s Bone,” including best picture, actress (Jennifer Lawrence), supporting actor (John Hawkes) and adapted screenplay. Clearly all the talent on display in 2004’s “Down to the Bone,” which boosted the career of Vera Farmiga, was not a flash in the pan. The question is what the deliberate New York filmmaker, who works closely with producer-writer Anne Rossellini, will do next.
Well, it looks like one project is with cabler HBO. Granik is attached to direct a pilot for “American High Life,” an unusual series executive produced by Granik and Groundswell Entertainment’s Michael London (“The Visitor”) and created by young writer Nicki Paluga.
The semi-autobiographical family drama follows a young career woman to her economically depressed small home town in the midwest. HBO hasn’t greenlit the pilot as yet. It’s easy to see how Granik would respond to this material, and she has bonded closely with Paluga.
A Pippi Longstocking movie adaptation was never happening–although Granik was interested– as the estate isn’t ready to move forward. And still in active development is her film version of Russell Banks’ novel “Rule Of The Bone,” which he’ll executive produce, marking the “the third part of my unofficial osteo-trilogy,” Granik has joked. Banks’ tells the story of a 14-year-old Jamaican-American whose step-father molests him; the kid then steals money from his mother to buy drugs. When his parents kick him out, he flies to Jamaica to find his father.
Banks was optimistic that a cast of unknowns and names would fall into place swiftly, but that doesn’t seem to have happened.
Granik is also prepping a documentary about U.S. war veterans, inspired by one of the actors in “Winter’s Bone.”