5 items from 2010
Skeletons on the Zahara is an upcoming adaptation of the Dean King book, the true-life saga of a group of 19th century American sailors who were forced into slavery after winding up shipwrecked in Africa.
At this moment, we have no word about the possible director, or cast, but we definitely know that this project could be something awesome, especially with one of the Public Enemies writers Ronan Bennett on board for penning the script!
We’ll pay good attention on this project in the future, but until then, check out the description of Skeletons on the Zahara: A True Story of Survival book:
“…the book begins with a seeming false start: tracing the lives of two merchants from North Africa, Seid and Sidi Hamet, who lose their fortunes—and almost their lives—when their massive camel caravan arrives at a desiccated oasis. King then jumps to the voyage of »
The story follows a dozen American sailors forced into slavery in Africa when they were shipwrecked in 1815 and endured a punishing trek across the Sahara before being taken prisoner.
The ship captain's account of their ordeal became a literary sensation and it was said to be one of Abraham Lincoln's favourite books. For those wondering, the title is not a misspelling but rather the original name for the Sahara in the early 19th century. »
- Garth Franklin
Public Enemies screenwriter Ronan Bennett is taking on a potentially loaded project. He'll adapt Dean King's book Skeletons on the Zahara, which tells the story of twelve American sailors who into submit themselves into slavery in Africa after being shipwrecked, hoping that as slaves they'll be given enough sustenance to survive. The story is based in part on the account of the ordeal written by one of the men, Captain James Riley. Riley's account told of an arduous trek across the Sahara Desert and subsequently being taken captive and enslaved. (Abraham Lincoln reportedly said Riley's book was one of the books that most influenced him.) It's classic adventure stuff, made rather more compelling by being true. There are excellent parts in here for a couple of actors -- certainly an American to play Captain Riley, and then the North African merchant Hamet, who buys the men out of slavery »
- Russ Fischer
A true story of riches to rags, the book Skeletons On The Zahara will be adapted into a screenplay by Public Enemies scribe Ronan Bennet [Deadline]. The book, written by Dean King tells the true story of a merchant vessel captained by James Riley that was shipwrecked in Africa. The crew then trials through the Sahara, before they are captured and made slaves. Riley eventually wrote a memoir of the event, republished with a new title: Sufferings in Africa.
The film is being produced by London based Independent (Moon). The company is also reportedly seeking a prominent American actor to play Captain Riley. Though no one is tipped, I have to think Sam Rockwell is high on their list, after turning Moon into a one-man powerhouse. With one of the most memorable performances of the last 10 years and a host of other really stellar roles, Rockwell would seemingly be a perfect choice, »
- Eric Seemiller
Exclusive: Ronan Bennett is writing the screenplay for this adaptation of Dean King’s true-life bestseller about 12 American sailors forced into slavery in Africa when they were shipwrecked in 1815. The sailors endured a punishing trek across the Sahara before they were taken prisoner. Captain James Riley’s account of their ordeal caused a sensation when it was published two years later. Abraham Lincoln said it was one of the books that had most influenced him alongside the Bible. Independent, the London-based sales company, is developing and producing. The sales house, whose previous credits include Moon, wants to make two of its own features a year in addition to projects it’s selling for others such as We Need to Talk About Kevin for BBC Films. “Skeletons On the Zahara is going to be a really fantastic project for the right American star to play Captain Riley,” Independent CEO Luc Roeg tells me. »
- TIM ADLER
5 items from 2010
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