Photo: Courtesy LeanIn.org.
It has been a very good week for Sheryl Sandberg. First it was announced that the Facebook COO made the billionaire's club. Now, there's word that Lean In: Women, Work, And The Will to Lead will soon become a major motion picture. No joke.
According to Deadline, which is basically always right, Sony Pictures acquired the film rights to Sandberg's 2013 biography/feminist clarion call with an eye toward production. A solid decision considering the broad interest in the title.
However, as the online industry bible also reports, Sony is taking a surprising tack with its hot acquisition. Instead of filming a Sandberg biopic or open-ended documentary, Sony Pictures' president of production, Hannah Minghella, is opting to use a wholly new, fictional narrative script from network-television scribe Nell Scovell.
Now, this decision may come as a bit of a head scratcher for readers of Lean In — a book that would lend itself well to a multi-thread documentary (in our humble opinion). From a studio perspective, however, it appears more rational. Consider that Mean Girls grew out of Tina Fey's adaptation of Rosalind Wiseman's Queen Bees and Wannabes, Ben Mezrich's 2009 book The Accidental Billionaires served as source material for The Social Network, and Michael Lewis' Moneyball begat, well, Moneyball. Basically, Hollywood has some success translating issue-based books into fully narrative films (if you don't count What To Expect When You're Expecting).
Now, granted, translating Lean In will be a somewhat more difficult task with far higher stakes. The public genuinely cares about this title and its essential subject matter. Minghella is gambling big here. We, like so many, are very interested to see how the dice land. (Deadline)