Cannes 2008: Weinstein Acquires The Alchemist for Fishburne

Harvey will produce, while Laurence will direct and star.

Harvey Weinstein announced at a Cannes press conference this morning that The Weinstein Company had acquired the rights to Paulo Coelho's international bestseller The Alchemist for a big-screen adaptation to star and be directed by Laurence Fishburne. Weinstein will personally produce the film.

Over the last twenty years The Alchemist has sold more than 30 million copies and hit bestseller lists in 18 countries. Despite releasing in 1988, the book has spent 34 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and currently rests at number 6 -- evidence, Weinstein says, of its renewed popularity.

"Personally producing a project is rare for me, but bringing The Alchemist to the screen has been my dream," he said. "It is a spiritual and moving story and I am thrilled to be working side by side with Laurence. The pieces are now in place to jumpstart this project and we are eager to get going."

The story is about a shepherd boy called Santiago who leaves his hometown in search of treasure and comes across the alchemist, who'll be played by Fishburne. Weinstein announced the film would be budgeted at $60m but that he planned to tell a spiritual, not a blockbusting story.

Through a video message Fishburne spoke of his pleasure at being offered the project. "This is a special project that now has a special team behind it to ensure that its path to the big screen is handled with the proper care it deserves. I am looking forward to directing it, acting in it and collaborating with Harvey Weinstein to produce a beautiful film that will do justice to Paulo's enormously successful novel."

We'll have more from Weinstein very soon.

Comments

Matanuki

Matanuki .

Can't wait! It'll be great to see a well done Alchemist, and it'll be a pleasure to see Fishburne in a starring role again.

May 18 - 04:29 AM

thereign

lance berry

I know everyone's going to be jumping on the "Great to see Laurence Fishburne in a starring role" bandwagon, but I have to say that I feel sorry for the actors he'll be directing. If past experience teaches anything, each actor's limits of patience will be tested to their limit by dealing with such a smug, self-serving ego.

Years ago, I worked craft service catering on the short-lived series "Tribeca", produced by Robert DeNiro's same-named company and a show in which Laurence--then known simply as "Larry"--starred. He was a nice enough guy then, but the second he changed his name to Laurence(with an accompanying magazine interview in which he stated some nonsense as "You get more respect with 'Laurence' instead of 'Larry'"), he became a super-conceited a$$hole, with an ego the size of the Death Star.

While filming Deep Cover(the last picture in which he received credits as "Larry") he dated(or perhaps I should say "banged") his co-star Victoria Dillard(Janelle on Spin City), then dumped her when he was done with her(I still remember the forlorn look on her face when she happened by the set of Spike Lee's Crooklyn, and asked with some hopefulness if Laurence was working on it, followed by a downcast expression when she was told no. Guess "Laurence" doesn't return phone calls to exes.).

While I have always loved his acting, knowing what a jerk he is in real life, I try to avoid Sir Laurence of Fishburne's movies, although yes--I saw The Matrix series based on the storylines, not for him. I can always appreciate a good actor...but if I know in real life what a jackass they are personally, it totally turns me off to their work. I see no reason to give any money to their films if I can avoid it, but that's just me.

Just figured I'd say my piece, so folks know what kind of guy they're supporting.

May 18 - 07:03 AM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

reign, we are now officially virtual enemies. ;-) j/k. But hey, I gotta tell ya, I couldn't care less about a guy being an alleged jackass in real life. Not like I'm sitting down having drinks and playing dominoes with the guy on Saturday night. What matters to me is the definitive work. The Fish delivers. End of story.

May 18 - 06:00 PM

jokerboy1991

jack giroux

Weinsteins suck...

May 18 - 08:10 AM

kgochs

Kev Gary

thereign..is it you???...are you victoria dillard???...idiot.

May 18 - 08:33 AM

thereign

lance berry

Those who voice an opinion or speak in the name of truth are never idiotic, kgochs...only the trolls who reply bitterly out of spite. Back at you, fool.

May 18 - 11:51 AM

vaodsi

john irvine

wow.... the alchemist...... everybody said that lord of the rings was unfilmable... so maybe i should hold my tongue... but some books are better as books. I'll be interested how they have him talk to the sun and dust and wind without it being outrageously corny instead of emotional and moving. interesting, beautiful book... though i did sneeze(stupid)sneeze at the whole "make yourself the wind by talking to the sun... then the sun will talk to the earth and the force is with you young skywalker...." no.. it wasn't that bad... it will just be very hard to translate to film... but i will certainly by a ticket.... who knows... they might blow my mind.

May 18 - 11:55 AM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

reign, we are now officially virtual enemies. ;-) j/k. But hey, I gotta tell ya, I couldn't care less about a guy being an alleged jackass in real life. Not like I'm sitting down having drinks and playing dominoes with the guy on Saturday night. What matters to me is the definitive work. The Fish delivers. End of story.

May 18 - 06:00 PM

thereign

lance berry

Matanuki;

You will rue the day you crossed swords with me, my friend! LOL!

:-)

May 18 - 10:01 PM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

lol.

May 19 - 01:29 PM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

lol.

May 19 - 01:29 PM

tomwaitsjrHAPPYICONOCLAST

Greg Guro

NOBODY said Lord of the Rings was unfilmable! Geesh. There was a stop action cartoon movie made of both The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. It just was helped along by technology.

May 19 - 03:51 PM

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