"Netherland", the novel that won author Joseph O'Neill the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, is getting a big screen treatment. Focus Features, Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions and Sam Mendes' Neal Street Productions have come together to develop the feature adaptation for the critically acclaimed novel.
Academy Award-winning director Mendes will serve as producer alongside his Neal Street partner Pippa Harris as well as Harpo's Winfrey and Kate Forte. The 44-year-old husband of actress Kate Winslet reportedly eyes the project as a potential directing vehicle as well. His production house has a first-look deal with Focus.
Christopher Hampton, the screenwriter for "Atonement", joins to write the script. Of Hampton's involvement, Focus Features CEO James Schamus said, "We're so glad to have Christopher join our creative partnership with Harpo and Neal Street. This project's emotional power has resonated with us all."
Published on January 5 by Harper Perennial, "Netherland" revolves around the life of a Dutchman living in New York in the wake of the September 11 attacks. Left alone in the Big Apple when he becomes estranged from his wife, he turns to his childhood game of cricket and forms an unlikely bond to immigrant culture.