J.C. Chandor, the award-winning writer-director of Margin Call, All is Lost and A Most Violent Year, is expanding his filmmaking efforts to producing alongside his long-time producers Neal Dodson and Anna Gerb. The team has partnered to option the non-fiction book “The Liar’s Ball” with an eye for Chandor to direct.
The three will produce the film adaptation of Vicky Ward’s acclaimed book together with their A Most Violent Year distributor A24 and producer-financier Eva Maria Daniels of VisionChaos Productions. Screenwriter Gideon Yago (“The Newsroom,” “Manhattan”) has just closed a deal to adapt and is researching and writing now. Zachary Quinto, who produced and starred in Chandor’s Margin Call, will executive produce.
The book, published by Wiley, was written by former Vanity Fair contributor and “Devil’s Casino” author Vicky Ward and tells the full history of New York’s famed G.M. Building (which faces the southeast corner of Central Park) from before it was built to the present.
Vicky Ward says, “When I heard J.C. wanted to turn my book into a movie I couldn’t believe it! I always try – as far as journalistic license allows – to condense time and space in my work the way he does, so that in the foreground, you have larger-than-life characters thrashing about in extremes and the reader has no choice but to get inside their headspace and see things from their perspective. A24’s collaboration with J.C. and his team on ‘A Most Violent Year’ was a perfect example of that. So I am just thrilled that they want to take on the clash of brutal, battling egos that comprises the fractious, ruthless, scarcely believable world of New York Real Estate.”
“The Liar’s Ball” explores a rich, complex tale of industry titans fighting it out over one of the crown jewels of New York City real estate. Much of the story in the book focuses on Harry Macklowe and his battles to own and re-develop the G.M. Building in the 1990’s and into the 2000’s. That battle resulted in the now famous Apple Store “glass cube” but also ultimately in Macklowe losing the building. Remarkably, he rebounded and built a new real estate empire after that loss. It’s a Horatio Alger and King Lear tale set in a fascinating and high-stakes milieu.
Chandor says, “Commercial real estate in New York City has long fascinated me, to the point where I once had a broker’s license. The story that Vicky has captured through relentless research and interviews explores the drama and the romantic nature of buildings in a city that has continued to push closer and closer to the sky with each passing year.”
A24 and VisionChaos Productions are working together on a slate of development projects, with A24 set to distribute the films when they come to fruition.
In addition to his prior critically-acclaimed films, Chandor recently wrote the screenplay for a film about Vince Lombardi for Legendary and is developing several other projects concurrently. Gerb is putting together films with directors Liza Johnson and Maryam Keshvaraz. Dodson and Quinto have Camille Thoman’s You Were Never Here in post-production, starring Mirielle Enos and Sam Shepard, Brian Shoaf’s Aardvark in pre-production to star Quinto, and they produced the DGA-award-winning documentary series “The Chair” with Chris Moore for Starz. All four are represented by CAA, as is screenwriter Yago. Ward is represented by WME.