Lake Bell (Million Dollar Arm) has nailed another directing gig following the success of her indie feature In a World. Coupled with several other acting gigs including The Coupe with Owen Wilson for Weinstein Co. and Man Up starring Simon Pegg, the actress will direct an adaptation of Claire Messud’s 2006 novel The Emperor’s Children for Imagine Entertainment.The original novel by Messud managed to win both the 2006 Man Booker Prize and the 2007 Massachusetts Book Award for fiction, so producer Brian Gazer (Get On Up, Rush) must’ve had high hopes by assigning indie writer Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) to pen the script.
The plot concerns three wealthy but unmotivated late twenty-something year olds whose lives are turned upside down after 9/11. According to Hollywood Reporter, Baumbach’s script was courted by many in Hollywood. Among them were Richard Gere (Movie 43), Keira Knightly (Begin Again), Eric Bana (Funny People) and Michele Williams (My Week With Marylin). None of them confirmed their involvement.
Bell’s success put her in the running to direct this movie – that originally had Ron Howard in the director’s chair. In the World went on to premiere at Sundance Film Festival where it won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award and managed to nail a best first screenwriting nomination for the Indie Spirit Award. That same movie was later listed among the Top 10 best Independent films according to the National Board of Review.