Origin Entertainment has officially optioned the film rights for the spiritual classic autobiography A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken. The rights, which were acquired for an unreported sum from Harper-Collins Publishers, signal Origin’s intent to begin development on the film as early as January 2013.
A Severe Mercy, which has been enjoyed by millions and published in 7 languages worldwide, is the tale of Van and Davy and their quest for a “more perfect” love. The story highlights the couple’s lifelong friendship with famed author C.S. Lewis, and how their closeness led ultimately to a more perfect understanding of divine love. The publisher describes the book as a “beloved, profoundly moving account of the author’s marriage, the couple’s search for faith and friendship with C.S. Lewis, and a spiritual strength that sustained Vanauken after his wife’s untimely death.”
“This project represents a capstone in our slate,” says Origin founder and Chairman James T. Volk. “Its ideals and values clearly reflect the films we plan to bring to the world.”
Origin Entertainment is mobilizing its fan base to take part in the film’s creation and development. “This is the first time we’ve attempted anything like this [with our fans], but the response has been overwhelming!,” stated Dick Lyles, Origin CEO.
“In exchange for their support, fans can receive rewards ranging from extremely rare keepsakes from the film to Associate Producer credits and invitations to exclusive table reads,” said David Fischer, Origin’s Chief Development Officer.
Origin has also announced it has finalized details to ink screenwriter Barbara Nicolosi Harrington to pen the adaptation.
Harrington’s screenwriting credits include “Mary Mother of Christ” (2013—Liongsgate), “Fatima: Message and Miracle” (2013), as well as Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ,” where she served as a story consultant.
“We are ecstatic to have Barbara with us for this project,” says Volk, “her work is impeccable, and we are beyond confident in her ability.”
Development on “A Severe Mercy” is set to begin in early 2013, with production set for the following year. The producers attempted to raise money for development of the film on IndieGoGo.
Origin Entertainment describes themselves as a broad-based film and television production company. They are located in Manhattan Beach, CA and “focused on producing transformative entertainment.” It is comprised of experienced creative professionals who are committed to making a positive impact on the industry and the modern world through entertainment.