The Oscar-nominated screenwriter Alessandro Camon (The Messenger) has signed on to adapt the Italian psychological thriller You Will Find the Words (Le parole lo sanno) for the screen.
British director Peter Webber (Girl With a Pearl Earring, Hannibal Rising) is attached to direct the film, which Rome-based Fenix Entertainment are producing.
Franzoso’s novel centers around a man with a terminal illness who has a chance encounter with a woman on a park bench, an encounter that leads to an extreme act of violence.
Camon told The Hollywood Reporter Fenix approached him about the adaptation and introduced him to Webber.
“We immediately hit it off,” he notes, calling Webber a “Renaissance man. He’s a cosmopolitan, he loves many genres and languages, and he’s truly into what he does.”
The film version of Franzoso’s novel will, like the book, be set in Italy but will have an English-speaking central character and be shot mostly in English. It will be a loose adaptation.
“When we presented our ideas to Franzoso, he gave us carte blanche,” Camon says. While sticking to the original’s “noir” roots, Camon said the film version will “delve into and study the characters” in the book.
“The center of everything is this [idea that this] totally random encounter can change characters’ life: two people, completely different from one another and total strangers, different ages, leading different lives meet [on the park bench] and are ready to open up to each other.”
Camon says he has delivered the first draft of the script and that shooting is set to begin next year. After several years working for Hollywood —in addition to The Messenger, Camon penned the script for Walter Hill’s 2012 thriller Bullet to the Head and for Steve Buscemi’s upcoming drama The Listener starring Tessa Thompson and Rebecca Hall —Camon said he was looking forward to returning to Italy.
“Nowadays we have auteurs like Paolo Sorrentino, Luca Guadagnino and Stefano Sollima that make movies for a worldwide audience, not just Italy, and that makes me happy.”
Franzoso’s novel Hungry Hearts was the basis for Saverio Costanzo’s English-language romantic thriller f the same name starring Adam Driver and Alba Rohrwacher, which won the leads the best actor and best acting honors at the 2014 Venice Film Festival.
Fenix Entertainment recently produced Andrea Pallaoro’s Monica starring Trace Lysette, Emily Browning and Patricia Clarkson, which premiered in Venice this year.
You Will Find the Words will mark a return to feature directing for Webber, who recently helmed the high-end Arabic-language historic drama series Kingdoms of Fire and the ITV miniseries Tutankhamun.