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Richard Wright’s Classic Novel ‘Native Son’ to Be Adapted Into Movie

Variety logo Variety 2/21/2017 Justin Kroll
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Bow and Arrow Entertainment has acquired Richard Wright’s classic novel “Native Son,” which will be adapted into a movie by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Suzan-Lori Parks and helmed by acclaimed artist and photographer Rashid Johnson in his feature directorial debut.

“Native Son” was first published in 1940 to much success, making Wright one of the most prominent African-American voices of the era. The novel follows Bigger Thomas, a 20-year-old African-American man growing up in poverty on the South Side of Chicago.

Bow and Arrow partners Matthew Perniciaro and Michael Sherman will produce the film, with Malcolm Wright and Julia Wright serving as consultants on behalf of Wright’s estate.

Parks was the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer for drama, nabbing  the prize for her award-winning play “Topdog/Underdog.” Parks also received the MacArthur Foundation genius grant and wrote the screenplays for Spike Lee’s “Girl 6” and the adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God.”

Johnson is one of the most celebrated fine artists of his generation, with museum exhibitions across the world. His work explores the contemporary, African-American experience. In 2016, he was appointed to the board of trustees of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Museum, the first artist to be given the honor in nearly 40 years.

The movie is represented by the UTA Independent Film Group. Deals were negotiated by UTA on behalf of Johnson and Parks, APA on behalf of the Wright Estate, and Levin Law Corp on behalf of Bow and Arrow.

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