Universal Pictures has opted in for the screen rights to the new book by author and New York Times bestselling journalist Michael Lewis about the beginnings of COVID-19 and the American heroes who tried to warn against them. dangers of underestimating the deadly severity of the killer virus.
“The Premonition,” which was released last week by WW Norton & Co., is a non-fiction that follows three main characters – a biochemist, a public health officer, and a federal government employee who work in the White House. as they grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic and find the United States government’s response woefully inadequate.
The tone of the project is described as being similar to “All the Presidents Men,” emphasizing the distinct characters from the book who risked everything in the hopes of saving lives.
Lord and Miller will direct the film and produce under their Lord Miller banner, along with Aditya Sood. Amy Pascal will also produce for Pascal Pictures, with Rachel O’Connor.
The new project marks a reunion for Pascal, Lord, Miller & Sood after the production of the Oscar-winning film “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”. The film also reunites Pascal and Lewis, after having made the adaptation of his book “Moneyball” for Sony Pictures in 2011.
In addition to “Moneyball”, Lewis’s previous works “The Big Short” and “The Blind Side” were also adapted into commercially successful films, all of which won Oscar’s best picture.
With “The Premonition,” it seems, on track to top the New York Times’ best-selling non-fiction list, the newly published book was a hot property before the title was acquired by Universal. Erik Baiers, senior executive vice president of production development at Universal, will oversee the project for the studio.
Sood was one of the early champions of the project, bringing the book to Lord & Miller’s attention after seeing Lewis discussing it on CBS’s “60 Minutes.”
The new project marks the second adaptation of a successful novel to which Lord and Miller recently signed up. The duo will also direct and produce the adaptation of Andy Weir’s latest novel, “Project Hail Mary,” which also debuted last week. Notably, Sood identified Andy Weir’s “The Martian” when it was a self-published novel (and he was at Simon Kinberg’s Genre Films), producing the best nominated film adaptation for a picture.
Lewis (who also hosts the “Against the Rules” podcast) is represented by CAA and the Writers House. Lord Miller is replaced by UTA and Ziffren Brittenham LLP.
The deadline was first to report the details of the new project and attached parties.