After resisting overtures for a decade, a best-selling author received an offer he couldn't refuse. John Grisham has finally allowed his 1999 novel The Testament to be optioned, according to Variety. Grisham will have "the right to provide creative input, which he didn't always have in the past -- one of the factors that pushed him away from Hollywood until about three years ago, when his fans prodded him to end his self-imposed movie moratorium."
The Testament revolves around a self-made billionaire who leaves his entire fortune to his illegitimate daughter, a young woman who lives and works "with a primitive tribe of Indians in the deepest jungles of Brazil." An attorney who's seen better days helps her battle the billionaire's relatives for the fortune. Producer Mark Johnson says: "It had the best of the courthouse stuff that John writes so well, plus this exotic adventure in deepest Brazil."
It's been six years since Runaway Jury hit the screens, so is the time right for more big-screen Grisham? I jumped off the Grisham bandwagon after The King of Torts, which had a smug, off-putting, moralistic tone; his formula -- idealistic young hero / heroine fights the corrupt system -- felt stale and predictable. If nothing else, Grisham's books offer the comfort of familiarity. Legal thrillers, the more formulaic the better, are a Hollywood staple, and usually attract a dependable audience. Shia LaBeouf is attached to The Associate, his latest best-seller, and others are in development. Will Grisham's creative input on The Testament result in a better movie?