Movies: The Thing With Feathers

Benedict Cumberbatch will star in writer and director Dylan Southern's adaptation of Max Porter's 2016 novel Grief Is the Thing With Feathers, Deadline reported. Titled The Thing With Feathers, the film is produced by Andrea Cornwell with SunnyMarch's Adam Ackland and Leah Clarke. The script was developed with Film4, which will executive produce and co-finance. The crow figure featured in the book will be created for the screen in collaboration with the sculptor Nicola Hicks.

"Having been a huge fan of Max Porter's extraordinary book and Enda Walsh's stage adaptation I was skeptical about a film adaptation. But the experience of reading Dylan Southern's adaptation rekindled the cinematic memory of reading this most visceral tale of a family consumed by grief," said Cumberbatch. "Dylan has handled the deftness of Max's kinetic poetry masterfully. It's so well realized both on the page and in the deck and pitch. It holds all the wildly sharp turns of changing tones and colors between the domestic and mythic, between the despair, comedy, and every day of loss. It's a thrilling read, and I couldn't be more excited to be taking Dylan's cinematic vision of it to the big screen."

Southern noted: "This is a genuinely meaningful story--but it's also scary, thrilling and subversive--and it achieves all of the above whilst remaining unsentimental. As a director, adapting this book provides the opportunity to combine striking genre elements with drama in a way that will not only move an audience, but will frighten them and make them laugh too."

Porter praised Southern's sensitivity to the different layers of the original story, noting: "Dylan understands how this story is just as much about domesticity, awkward humor, the silly, fun and strange routines of raising children, as it is about inexplicable rage and pain. In Crow he has created something wild, a cinematic monster unlike anything else."

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