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Paramount, Lorne Michaels Developing Autism Book ‘Neurotribes’ as Movie (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety logo Variety 6/20/2017 Dave McNary
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Paramount has acquired movie rights to Steve Silberman’s science book “Neurotribes” and set up the project with Lorne Michaels at his Broadway Video production company.

Silberman’s book, “Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter About People Who Think Differently,” was published in 2015, won the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction, and was named one of the best books of 2015 by the New York Times, the Economist, and the Guardian.

“Neurotribes” covers a history of the changing perceptions of autism over the past 80 years, going back to the research of Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger. It also explores why the number of diagnoses has soared in recent years.

Matt Rager has been hired to write the adaptation. Rager has collaborated with James Franco on “As I Lay Dying,” “The Sound and the Fury,” “In Dubious Battle,” and “The Institute” and recently finished adapting the Stephen King short story “Drunken Fireworks” for Rubicon Entertainment.

Silberman began exploring autism in a 2001 article for Wired magazine headlined “The Geek Syndrome,” which examined autism in Silicon Valley. He started work on “Neurotribes” in 2009 and completed the book five years later.

Liz Raposo is overseeing the project for Paramount. She was promoted on June 15 to the post of president of production.

Michaels is known for creating and producing “Saturday Night Live,” producing the “Late Night” series with Conan O’Brien and Seth Meyers since 1993, and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” since 2014. He has a first-look feature film deal with Paramount and has produced the two “Wayne’s World” movies, “Superstar,” “Tommy Boy,” “Mean Girls,” “Baby Mama,” “The Guilt Trip,” and “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.”

Rager is repped by APA and Thruline Entertainment. Silberman is repped by APA, and Beth Vesel Literary Agency.

Related Video: Lorne Michaels: The Mastermind Behind "Saturday Night Live" (Via Vanity Fair)

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