Carl Franklin to Helm Ultima


Wal-Mart heiress Christy Walton will finance and executive produce her first feature film, an adaptation of the Rudolfo Anaya novel “Bless Me, Ultima,” reports Variety.

Carl Franklin (Out of Time) is set to write and direct the film, and Monkey Hill Films’ Sarah DiLeo will produce with Mark Johnson and his Gran Via Productions as well as Jesse B. Franklin, who’ll produce through Monarch Pictures.

The novel is the turbulent coming-of-age story of Antonio, a youth growing up in New Mexico during WWII. He develops a relationship with Ultima, an elderly medicine woman who helps the young man navigate the battle between good and evil that rages in his village.

“It talks about magic, miracles, acceptance and reconciliation,” Walton said. “It’s a difficult book to adapt, and Carl is the person to do it.”