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Alma Har’el Sets First Feature Since ‘Honey Boy’: Sci-Fi ‘Mockingbird’ at Searchlight

The DGA winner will bring "Queen's Gambit" and "Man Who Fell to Earth" author Walter Tevis' novel to the screen.

Alma Har'el, Independent Spirit Awards

Alma Har’el


After making history at the DGA Awards for her debut feature “Honey Boy,” director Alma Har’el has announced her follow-up project.

Har’el is set to direct Walter Tevis’ science fiction classic “Mockingbird” for Searchlight Pictures, which is planning a theatrical release for the film.

“Mockingbird” is set in a world without art, children, or books where the human population relies on a love triangle between an android, a man, and a woman. The novel was nominated for the prestigious literary Nebula Award.

“I’ll never forget the first time I read ‘Mockingbird’ on the shore of the Sinai peninsula in Egypt when I was 24 years old,” Har’el said. “Walter Tevis wrote a novel that refuses genre and time, choosing instead to awaken every fiber of your being. This book has changed my life and I’ve been pursuing it for over a decade. I knew that Searchlight was the perfect home for it and I’m thrilled they are partnering with me to bring this to the big screen.”

Oscar-winner J. Miles Dale (“Nightmare Alley,” “The Shape of Water”) and Robert Schwartz (“Iron Will,” “Blizzard”) are both attached to produce, along with Har’el and Christopher Leggett. Alejandro Laguette and Rafael Marmor are executive producers.

Searchlight Presidents David Greenbaum and Matthew Greenfield added in a joint press statement, “Walter Tevis was a prolific and astute storyteller who wrote novels and short stories that have withstood the test of time. ‘Mockingbird’ is a powerful tale and with the uniquely talented Alma Har’el at the helm of this film, we know it will be brilliant.”

Tevis’ “The Man Who Fell to Earth” was recently adapted into a Showtime series starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Naomie Harris. Created by Jenny Lumet and Alex Kurtzman, the series is set to premiere April 24. Tevis also penned “The Queen’s Gambit,” which broke Netflix records when the adaptation starring Anya Taylor-Joy premiered. The series later landed 11 Primetime Emmy Awards.

Award-winning director Har’el partnered with actor Shia LaBeouf for “Honey Boy,” based on an autobiographical screenplay written by LaBeouf. Har’el became the first woman to win the DGA Award for First-Time Feature Film. She is also the first woman in DGA Awards history to be nominated for both commercial directing (2018) and narrative directing (2020).

Har’el is additionally in production on Apple TV+’s “Lady in the Lake,” starring Natalie Portman and Lupita Nyong’o. Har’el created the series and serves as executive producer while directing all the episodes.

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