Richard Wright's Classic Novel 'Native Son' To Become Feature Film
Richard Wright's Classic Novel 'Native Son' To Become Feature Film

Richard Wright's Classic Novel 'Native Son' To Become Feature Film

Richard Wright's Classic Novel 'Native Son' To Become Feature Film

Richard Wright's seminal novel Native Son will be adapted into a movie.

In a report from Variety, the book has been acquired by Bow and Arrow Entertainment, with a screenplay to be written by Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori ParksRashid Johnson will serve as director, with the adaptation marking his feature directorial debut.

Native Son tells the story of a 20-year-old African-American man named Bigger Thomas, who lives in poverty in Chicago's South Side.

Although no other details are offered about the movie, it sounds like it will be in the right hands. Aside from Wright's daughter Julia and his grandson Malcolm serving as consultants for the film, Parks has written screenplays for Spike Lee's Girl 6 and the adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Plus, Johnson has had his work shown in museum exhibitions across the world, and currently is a part of the board of trustees of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Museum (he is the first artist to be given the honor in nearly 40 years).

There have already been two film adaptations of Native Son. As Shadow & Act has pointed out, one was made in 1986 and the other, 1951. The former, which was made for PBS, had a limited theatrical run and featured Victor Love and in the leading role of Bigger Thomas, and Oprah Winfrey as his mother. The latter, which was directed by French filmmaker Pierre Chanel, was filmed completely in and around Buenos Aires, Argentina (although the setting of the novel is in Chicago). Both versions were not well-received.

There was also a play that was based on the novel, that premiered in 1941. The play was produced by Orson Welles, who had created a Broadway adaptation of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, called Julius (1937), and ultimately created his highly-regarded Citizen Kane film the same year as the play adaptation of Native Son.