Actor/producer Tina Fey is attached in both capacities for The Taliban Shuffle, to be produced for Paramount Pictures. The new film is based on journalist Kim Barker’s 2012 memoir The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and details the reporters journeys in the war-torn region. This may mark the most ambitious cinematic project yet for the multiple Emmy-award winning actress, writer and celebrated Golden Globe Awards co-host. Fey optioned the book herself, and frequent collaborator Robert Carlock (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock) wrote the screenplay. Lorne Michaels will also come aboard as one of the producers.
The Taliban Shuffle tells the fish-out-of-water story of an American journalist who arrives in Kabul not knowing the language and trying to navigate the bursts of violence, boredom, and fitting in as a Western woman as well as with her fellow (mostly male) war correspondents. The memoir has been described as a black comedy that underlines the absurdities of war, but within the prism of a compassionate sense of humanity. The New York Times said of the book, “What’s remarkable about The Taliban Shuffle is that its author, Kim Barker — a reporter at ProPublica and the South Asia bureau chief for The Chicago Tribune from 2004 to 2009 — has written an account of her experiences covering Afghanistan and Pakistan that manages to be hilarious and harrowing, witty and illuminating, all at the same time.”
No word yet on possible directors for the project or when the film is scheduled to start shooting. Fey, whose critically beloved television series 30 Rock ended over a year ago, was last seen on screens (albeit briefly) in Anchorman 2 and starred in last spring’s dramedy Admission opposite Paul Rudd. She will next be seen in Muppets Most Wanted and the Shawn Levy comedy This Is Where I Leave You opposite Jason Bateman.
We’ll follow-up on developments on this project as they come in.