After working together on Nocturnal Animals, Oscar-nominated actors Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal are teaming up to produce an adaptation of the memoir Finding the Mother Tree by scientist Suzanne Simard, whose work is said to have influenced James Cameron‘s Avatar.
Adams will actually play Simard, who is something of a scientific detective, as she first discovered how trees communicate underground through an immense web of fungi. Although her groundbreaking work was once ridiculed, it has since been praised as having “planetary significance,” according to Variety.
Adams and Stacy O’Neil will produce for Bond Group Entertainment, while Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker will produce for Nine Stories. Though Finding the Mother Tree was just published on Tuesday, the two production companies won the rights in a competitive situation, as the book has been racking up strong reviews. Kate Clifford will oversee the project for Bond Group, while Noah Stahl will oversee on behalf of Nine Stories. There’s no distributor attached yet, but expect them to line up for what feels like it could be an awards contender, especially given Adams‘ six prior Oscar nominations.
In a statement, Gyllenhaal and Marker called Finding the Mother Tree “part charming memoir, part crash course in forest ecology. And yet, it manages to be about the things that matter most: the ways we care for each other, fail each other and listen to each other. After the last year and a half, its lessons about motherhood, connection and the natural world are more timely than ever, and we are thrilled to partner with Amy, Stacy and their company, and Suzanne Simard to adapt this majestic story to film.”
Adams and O’Neil said that Simard‘s memoir “excited us with a narrative about the awe-invoking power of nature and the compelling parallels in Suzanne’s personal life. It forever transformed our views of the world and the interconnectivity of our environment. Finding the Mother Tree is not only a deeply beautiful memoir about one woman’s impactful life, it’s also a call to action to protect, understand and connect with the natural world.”
Bond Group previously produced HBO‘s award-winning limited series Sharp Objects, and the company is currently prepping Kings of America for Netflix and Willa of the Wood for Entertainment One. Meanwhile, Nine Stories recently produced The Guilty and The Devil All the Time for Netflix, where it is also developing an adaptation of the Ubisoft video game The Division. The company is also behind the upcoming Mark Wahlberg drama Joe Bell, which I’m personally looking forward to. I like Gyllenhaal‘s taste as a producer and with Adams front and center here, this could be a project to keep an eye on. I’m certainly eager to see who the A-list stars tap to direct this film. If only James Cameron was available…