: ScreenSlam/YouTubeThea Sharrock
may be following up a tragic romance with a gorilla story. The “Me Before You
” director is in talks to helm Disney’s big screen adaptation of Katherine Applegate
’s Newbery Medal winner “The One and Only Ivan.” Variety reports that Mike Newell
(“Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
”) was originally attached to the project, but is no longer involved, and Sharrock is being eyed to replace him.
Published in 2011, the book tells the story of a silverback gorilla named Ivan, “who is in a cage at a shopping center with an elderly elephant named Stella and a stray dog named Bob,” the source details. “When a baby elephant arrives, Ivan regains his memories and plans an escape to protect the new elephant from their abusive owner.” The book, illustrated by Patricia Castelao
and told from the perspective of Ivan, is based on “the story of a gorilla named Ivan who spent 27 years in a Washington mall before being transferred to an Atlanta zoo.”Mike White
(“Beatriz at Dinner,” “School of Rock
”) penned the script. Allison Shearmur
(“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
”) is producing the project.
Last year’s “Me Before You
” marked Sharrock’s feature debut. The film starred “Game of Thrones
’” Emilia Clarke
as a chronically under- and unemployed woman who accepts a job caring for and offering companionship to a disabled man (Sam Claflin
, “The Hunger Games
” franchise) despite the fact that she has no experience in the field. The tearjerker grossed over $207 million on a budget of $20 million.
Sharrock, a theater vet whose TV directing credits include “Call the Midwife
” and “The Hollow Crown
,” has also signed on to helm Warner Bros.
’ adaptation of Kiera Cass
’ 2012 Ya novel “The Selection
.” The plot centers on a woman competing for a prince’s affections. No word on when we can expect either “The Selection
” or “The One and Only Ivan.”
In an interview with Women and Hollywood, Sharrock said of women in the industry, “If a woman is the right person for the job, she should get the job, not because she’s a woman but she’s the right person for the job. But I find it staggering that in my career, I have never felt I got a job because I’m a woman. I’ve never approached things with that in my mind, but when you look at the numbers in movies, it’s absolutely staggering.”Thea Sharrock
Being Eyed to Direct “The One and Only Ivan” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.