Annapurna Pictures beat out its rivals in a bidding war to option Rooney Mara project “A House in the Sky.” The New York Times bestselling memoir is written by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett. Mara will star and serve as a producer alongside Annapurna’s Megan Ellison. Annapurna’s Chelsea Barnard will oversee the day-to-day development and production of the project.
It’s easy to see why Mara (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”), would be attracted to the harrowing story of how Amanda Lindhout, who loved exploring the world’s most remote and perilous places, was abducted in 2008 by a rebel terrorist group in Mogadishu, Somalia. Her memoir recounts her 15 months chained and starved and abused in captivity. The book was brought to Mara’s attention by her team at Management 360 who then approached Annapurna.
Mara recently wrapped Todd Hayne’s “Carol,” starring opposite Cate Blanchett, an adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith romance novel “The Price of Salt.” Mara is now playing Tiger Lily in “Pan,” Joe Wright’s take on “Peter Pan.”
Annapurna Pictures’ 2013 projects “American Hustle,” “Her” and “The Grandmaster”earned 17 Academy Award nominations, making Ellison the first woman to earn two Best Picture nominations in the same year. Annapurna also backed Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty” and Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master.” Coming up: Cannes hit “Foxcatcher,” development of “Hunger Games” producer Nina Jacobson’s adaptation of “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?”, written by Maria Semple, and Denver & Delilah and CJ Entertainment’s remake of “Sympathy for Vengeance,” written by William Monahan and starring Charlize Theron. Annapurna is also producing a television project on the intersecting lives of Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich with writers Angela Robinson and Alex Kondracke.