Producers team up for film adaptation of O'Farrell's Hamnet

Producers team up for film adaptation of O'Farrell's Hamnet

Amblin Partners, Hera Pictures and Neal Street Productions are teaming up on a film adaptation of Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell (Tinder Press). 

The historical fiction novel, which scooped the 2020 Women's Prize for Fiction and was named Waterstones Book of the Year,  imagines the story of Agnes, mother and healer – and the wife of William Shakespeare – as she struggles to come to terms with the loss of her only son, Hamnet. The book charts the emotional, familial and artistic consequences of that loss, as the backdrop to the creation of Shakespeare’s play "Hamlet". 

The novel also won the Fiction Prize at the 2020 National Book Critics Circle Awards, and was shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize and longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction.

The script will be written by Chiara Atik, with Liza Marshall, Sam Mendes and Pippa Harris producing. Atik has previously worked with Amblin and Neal Street on "Beautiful Ruins", alongside Mark Hammer.

Amblin president of production Jeb Brody is overseeing the project with Mia Maniscalco, senior vice-president of creative affairs. Amblin and Neal Street most recently worked together on the Mendes-directed Oscar winning film "1917" with their next project slated to be "Beautiful Ruins".

O’Farrell was represented in the deal by Conrad Williams at the Blake Friedmann Literary Agency and Victoria Hobbs at A M Heath. 

The author has sold 1.7 million books for £12.9m in total since 1998 through Nielsen BookScan in the UK, with Hamnet currently on 162,345 copies sold in paperback and 87,477 in hardback, excluding lockdown weeks.