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Gina Prince-Bythewood Negotiating “Before I Fall” Adaptation + Developing “I Know This Much Is True”

Gina Prince-Bythewood Negotiating "Before I Fall" Adaptation + Developing "I Know This Much Is True"

I just had a phone chat with her on Friday… specifically about my “dismal outlook for black filmmakers in Hollywood” piece (read it HERE), which I learned got around quite bit. She read it and wanted to essentially “fill in some holes” I couldn’t really address in my piece because I’m not on the inside, and just don’t have access to that kind of info.

But it was great talking to her and hearing her take on this lack of representation problem we discuss so often here on S&A and elsewhere. I’m working to get other *insiders* to talk to me so that I can type up a follow-up piece to that initial editorial.

In the meantime, this…

Gina Prince-Bythewood is in talks to direct Before I Fall, for Fox – an adaptation of the best-selling young-adult novel by Lauren Oliver, which centers on Samantha Kingston, a pretty and popular high-school senior, with the perfect boyfriend and seemingly perfect life; But after a late-night of partying, everything goes terribly wrong, and the life that she lived is gone forever.  

Here’s a longer synopsis courtesy of Amazon:

She and her three best friends rule their school. On Cupid Day, Sam expects to receive Valentine roses, to party with her friends, and to finally (maybe) have sex with her equally popular boyfriend. The last thing she expects is that she will die, but in the final moments of her life, as she hears “a horrible, screeching sound—metal on metal, glass shattering, a car folding in two,” everything turns to nothing. Only, it is not the end for Sam. She wakes up to start the same day over again, and again; in fact, she relives it seven times. At first, being dead has its advantages, as she realizes that nothing worse can happen to her. She first conducts herself with reckless abandon, seducing her math teacher and smoking marijuana. It is difficult to feel pity for Sam; she is snobbish, obnoxious, a cheater, and just plain mean. However, her gradual and complete transformation is so convincing that when she finally puts others before herself in order to save another life, it is moving and cathartic. The deepening relationship between Sam and Kent, her childhood friend, is sensitively described and the most complex and compelling relationship in the story. Although somewhat predictable, the plot drives forward and teens will want to see where Sam’s choices lead.  is told through the eyes of a high school senior who experiences slightly altered versions of the hours leading up to her death in a car crash. Over the course of the story, she falls in love, making surprising discoveries about her friends and family as she races to change the outcome. She also connects with a depressed, bullied girl whose life she holds in her hands.

So it’s like Groundhog Day meets… Mean Girls…?

THR says the script adaptation has already been complete, however Gina Prince-Blythewood will rewrite it.

Provided the deal goes through, this will be her first faeture film directorial effort since 2008’s The Secret Life of Bees (also a Fox product). ,

And worth noting, she’s also developing an adaptation of Wally Lamb’s novel I Know This Much Is True – once an Oprah Book Club selection.

Anyone read either book?

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