The biography, released earlier this year, focuses on Syrian-American Abdulrahman Zeitoun, who chose, amid the post-hurricane flooding, to defend his business and his home, and to help his fellow New Orleans residents. Filmmaker Jonathan Demme has optioned writer Dave Eggers' best-selling book 'Zeitoun,' set in New Orelans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, for the purpose of adapting it into an animated feature, the New York Times reports.
The biography, released earlier this year, focuses on Syrian-American Abdulrahman Zeitoun, who chose, amid the post-hurricane flooding, to defend his business and his home, and to help his fellow New Orleans residents.
Already a fan of Eggers' writing, Demme, whose extensive credits include 'Silence of the Lambs,' 'Philadelphia' and 'Rachel Getting Married,' said the idea for an animated adaptation came to him upon studying the novel's cover.
"I was staring at the book, and there's this wonderful line drawing on the cover, the character of Zeitoun in his canoe, paddling through a submerged neighborhood," Demme told the Times. And I suddenly imagined, "What if we could do an animated film and visualize the experiences of the Zeitoun family and all of New Orleans?"
Demme didn't reveal a production time line for the project, or which studio might release it.
For his part, Eggers already has experience adapting books into screenplays, having worked with filmmaker Spike Jonze on the currently released adaptation of Maurice Sendak's 'Where the Wild Things Are.'
And in addition to another writing credit on the recent indie release 'Away We Go,' Eggers is also working to adapt his 2006 novel 'What Is the What' into a feature.
In fact, Demme said it was 'What Is the What,' which focuses on a young refugee from the Sudanese civil war, that first intrigued him after his son, Brooklyn, recommended it. He said, "Dad, you've got to read this book; it changed my life," Demme told the Times. "And I read it, and it changed my life, too."