Laurence Fishburne in talks to direct Idris Elba in The Alchemist
Laurence Fishburne may be on the verge of directing his second feature film and fist since the release of ONCE IN THE LIFE back in 2000. Fishburne is in talks with The Weinstein Company to helm the long in development adaptation of Paulo Coehlo's The Alchemist. While no deals are finalized, Deadline is also reporting that Idris Elba may take a lead role in the project.
The Alchemist holds the Guinness world record for most translations of a single book (56) and has sold over 65 million copies. The largely spiritual tale has often been compared to THE LIFE OF PI in terms of message.
Paulo Coelho's masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago's journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.
Fishburne has been trying to get The Alchemist made for almost a decade. Weinstein became involved when it was announced they would produce the film at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. Since them, Fishburne is said to have spoken with Abu Dhabi’s royal family as well as the Japanese conglomerate the Kadokawa Group. The budgetary concerns about making the film could be why no movie has been made since the author originally sold the rights to it in 1994.
I would be intrigued to see a movie like this but I am not sure if Fishburne has the chops behind the camera to make it happen. I respect his passion for the project and you could do a lot worse than getting Idris Elba involved. My primary concern would be how the finished movie would look. If the plans are to get this movie into production next year, expect more news on this soon.