If you’ve been around this blog, you might’ve heard about a little film called “Short Term 12.” It’s one that we’ve already named one of The Best Films Of The Year…So Far, and in addition to putting Brie Larson into the awards season conversation early on (while she won’t get into the Oscars, the Indie Spirits are calling her name) it firmly marked the arrival of director Destin Cretton. Last year’s “I Am Not A Hipster” director made the waves that he surfed on in 2013 with the raw “Short Term 12,” and how he’s getting a bigger board to ride on.
Variety reports that Cretton will helm the adaptation of Jeannette Walls‘ best-selling memoir “The Glass Castle,” that already has Jennifer Lawrence slated to star. Marti Noxon (“Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” “Fright Night“) and Andrew Lanham have already worked on a script that Cretton will rewrite, that will tell the true tale of Walls’ childhood, which found her raised by abusive, dysfuctional parents. Here’s the official book synopsis from Amazon:
Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn’t stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an “excitement addict.” Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.
Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town — and the family — Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents’ betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.
What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.
No word yet on where it might fit into Lawrence’s growing slate of projects, but “The Glass Castle” is set up at Lionsgate, who are doing all they can to keep their “The Hunger Games” star in-house. In recent days they also snapped up “Burial Rites,” another true-story book adaptation that would reteam Lawrence and director Gary Ross. And as long as she keeps picking projects like this, who can blame them?As for Cretton, he seems like a great choice and the material seems spiritually akin to “Short Term 12” in all the right ways.