The Night Manager producer The Ink Factory is partnering with producer Marc Platt (La La Land, Bridge of Spies) and Adam Siegel (Drive, 2 Guns) to adapt We Were Never Here, a debut novel by Lara Prescott (pictured).
Based on events surrounding the publication of Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago and the role the CIA played in using it as a weapon of propaganda for the West, We Were Never Here has already been sold in twenty-five countries. It will be published by Knopf in the U.S. in Fall 2019, and Hutchinson in the UK.
The adaptation will be produced by Marc Platt, Adam Siegel, Stephen Cornwell and Simon Cornwell.
Set in the 1950s at the height of the Cold War, We Were Never Here centres on a plan by the CIA plan to engineer the publication of Boris Pasternak’s controversial novel ‘Doctor Zhivago’ in his home country. Despite the fact that he was Russia’s greatest living author, the authorities there ordered the manuscript destroyed and the book banned due to themes they considered critical of the regime. The CIA smuggled the manuscript out of Russia, had it translated, and then smuggled the book back into the country, where it was used as anti-socialist propaganda. The story is told through the voices of the women at the centre of the mission, including Pasternak’s mistress and muse, Olga Ivinskaya, and Irina, a young CIA recruit.
APA’s Lucy Stille represents film and television rights to the book and put together the deal with The Ink Factory and Marc Platt Productions. The deal was negotiated by Stille alongside Jeff Kleinman and Jamie Chambliss at Folio Literary Management, and by Yogita Puri for The Ink Factory.
Stephen Cornwell at The Ink Factory said: “In its ambition, scope and execution, ‘We Were Never Here’ is a remarkable novel by any standards, and as a first novel, breathtaking. The greatest spy stories are also great love stories. Lara’s wonderful book delivers on all that promise and more, and we couldn’t be more excited to be setting out on the journey of bringing her characters and story to the screen than with our friends and colleagues Adam and Marc.”
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