Nice catch by “Jug” who alerted me to this yesterday, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have caught it.
In short, author Jason Mott’s debut novel, The Returned, is being developed as a TV drama series, to be produced by Brad Pitt’s Plan B, for ABC.
I mention this news because Jason Mott’s a black man; and, in light of conversations we’ve had on this site about the dearth of novels by black authors adapted for the screen (big or small) here in the USA, this is obviously good news.
The novel won’t be published until September 2013, however, so I obviously haven’t read it, and I’m guessing no one has (well, except for those who are involved in the TV adaptation of it).
Deadline says there was a bidding war for it among several production companies and studios, so it must be good, right? Or at the very least, it’s probably something that’s high concept.
What’s The Returned about? A little digging revealed this synopsis:
A family gets caught up in a worldwide event in which loved ones return from the dead exactly as they last were in life. Lucille and Harold Hargrave wonder: Is their dead eight-year-old son’s return a miracle or an impending sign of something horrible?
Mott says the story was inspired by several things – from reading literary classics like The Odyssey, I Am Legend, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and Lord Of The Flies, as well as and comics and graphic novels, to sci-fi movies like Soylent Green, to a dream he had two years ago, which stayed with him.
I’m sure you’re all wondering if the characters in Mott’s novel are black as well; well, I don’t know. Nothing confirmed or rejected that.
I did find Mott on Twitter, so I’m going to reach out to him for an interview – not only about whether the characters are black, but I’m also very curious about how the debut novel of an author gets the attention of Brad Pitt (almost a year before it’s published), and a major broadcast network in ABC.
The kid on the book cover is obviously white, but that doesn’t mean anything in the book publishing world, where we’ve seen books about black characters written to reach a wideer audience, not feature a black person on the cover, for fear of affecting sales.
By the way, Mott is a published poet and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
I found the below video of him reaing some of his poetry at a gathering in Virginia: