'13 Reasons Why' Director to Helm Adaptation of Alice Sebold's Sexual Assault Memoir, 'Lucky'
The writer of The Lovely Bones and Still Alice, which were adapted into acclaimed films with the latter earning star Julianne Moore an Oscar, is getting another novel adapted to the big screen. But this time, it’s personal. Alice Sebold‘s memoir Lucky, which chronicles her sexual assault as an 18-year-old college freshman, is being adapted into a feature film by Karen Moncrieff, a director of Netflix’s young-adult series 13 Reasons Why.
Variety reports that the Lucky movie will be directed by Karen Moncrieff, who has directed two episodes of Netflix’s acclaimed but divisive drama on teen sexual assault and suicide, 13 Reasons Why. Moncrieff seems a fitting choice to sensitively helm the adaptation of Sebold’s 1999 memoir Lucky, which describes in harrowing detail how Sebold’s life was changed irrevocably after she was raped and beaten in a park near campus as a college freshman. Sebold goes into detail of how she fought to get her rapist arrested and convicted in the memoir, which has sold over 1 million copies.
Here is the synopsis for the book Lucky:
In a memoir hailed for its searing candor and wit, Alice Sebold reveals how her life was utterly transformed when, as an eighteen-year-old college freshman, she was brutally raped and beaten in a park near campus. What propels this chronicle of her recovery is Sebold’s indomitable spirit – as she struggles for understanding (“After telling the hard facts to anyone, from lover to friend, I have changed in their eyes”); as her dazed family and friends sometimes bungle their efforts to provide comfort and support; and as, ultimately, she triumphs, managing through grit and coincidence to help secure her attacker’s arrest and conviction. In a narrative by turns disturbing, thrilling, and inspiring, Alice Sebold illuminates the experience of trauma victims even as she imparts wisdom profoundly hard-won: “You save yourself or you remain unsaved.”
The producer of Still Alice, James Brown, is producing the adaptation of Lucky, which is being fully financed and executive produced by Lisa Wolofsky of Skywolf Media and Nadine de Barros at Fortitude are fully financing and will executive produce.
“Karen’s work on ‘Lucky’ achieves what every great adaptation should, staying true to Alice’s memoir while imbuing it with the cinematic tension of a nail-biting thriller,” said Brown. Moncrieff added in a statement to Variety that she is she looked forward to telling “this unflinching, true story of a fierce rape survivor and her battle to become the person and writer she always intended to be.”
Sebold’s novels are incredibly, intimately written character dramas often revolving around complicated female characters and their traumas. The big screen adaptations of her books have been hit or miss — I was especially disappointed with Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lovely Bones, which leaned too heavily into the whimsical premise to properly portray the horrifying assault of a young girl — but Moncrieff’s experience on 13 Reasons Why makes her an obvious choice to helm Lucky. While I have my mixed feelings on 13 Reasons Why and its soap-opera approach to tough issues, perhaps Moncrieff will do better by Lucky.
Lucky is currently in pre-production and casting, and will start filming in the fall.
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