Kunal Nayyar, Lucy Hale, Christina Hendricks are set to headline “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry,” a big screen makeover of Gabrielle Zevin’s blockbuster New York Times best-selling novel which has shifted five million copies and been translated into 38 languages.
The film rights to Zevin’s most recent novel, “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” recently sold to Paramount for $2 million upfront after an auction between reportedly over 25 bidders.
Hans Canosa will direct “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry” from Zevin’s own adaptation. BCDF Pictures’ Claude Dal Farra and Brian Keady are producing alongside Kelsey Law, Canosa and Zevin.
David Garrett’s Mister Smith Entertainment is launching worldwide sales at next week’s Pre-Cannes Screenings, with principal photography scheduled for this fall.
Exemplifying one major throughline in Mister Smith’s recent sales slate, “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry” is not only produced by BCDF Pictures and based on major IP, like the upcoming “The Hating Game” and The Language of Flowers,” but an uplifting story, a “heartwarming, comical love story and homage to the joy of books,” and “wonderfully moving, endearing story of redemption and transformation – charming, comical, and true to life – in Mister Smith’s description.
It turns on the A.J. Fikry, for whom life has not turned out as expected. His wife has died, his bookstore sales hitting new nadirs, and his prized rare edition of Poe’s poem purloined. “Over time, he has given up on people, and even the books in his store, instead of offering solace, are yet another reminder of a world that is changing too rapidly,” the synopsis runs.
Then a strange package arrives at his story, and the cranky A.J. Fikry has the chance to make his life over and start anew.
BCDF’s Brice Dal Farra, Nayyar, Hale, and Hendricks serve as executive producers on the film.
“The reason this is such a wonderful story with such great characters, is that the script is hewn from the most wonderful source material,” Garrett said. “It shines light on those connections which are at the heart of all human relationships in such a joyous and life-affirming fashion.”
A six- time SAG Award nominee, Nayyar is best known to worldwide audiences as Raj on the hit comedy and multiple Emmy Award winning show, The Big Bang Theory.” He is filming this summer on Johan Renck’s Spaceman, starring opposite Adam Sandler, Carey Mulligan, and Paul Dano.
Hale’s big breakthrough came with her starring role in the hit series “Pretty Little Liars,” which ran for seven seasons and 160 episodes. She is currently shooting AMC’s crime series “Ragdoll” from Sid Gentle Films, the British production company behind “Killing Eve.”
Hendricks garnered international recognition starring as Joan in the Emmy winning series “Mad Men” for which she was nominated for six Emmy Awards and won two SAG Awards. Further film credits include Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Drive,” Sally Potter’s “Ginger & Rosa”, Ryan Gosling’s “Lost River” and “American Woman” opposite Sienna Miller.
Beyond “The Hating Game,” also starring Hale, and “The Language of Flowers,” starring Kiersey Clemons, MSE’s current sales slate is comprised of “Lakewood,” starring Naomi Watts and directed by Phillip Noyce; Michael Morris’ BCDF production “To Leslie” with Andrea Riseborough and Allison Janney; “He Went That Way,” toplining Jacob Elordi and Zachary Quinto; Constantin’s reboot of the “Wrong Turn” franchise, a theatrical hit; and the Berlinale Speciale 2021 selection “Tides.”