Laurence Fishburne to Direct Idris Elba in The Alchemist

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Alchemist2Deadline is reporting that Idris Elba (Pacific Rim, “Luther”) may star in a long-planned adaptation of Paolo Coelho’s bestselling novel “The Alchemist,” with Oscar-nominated actor Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix, Man of Steel) directing for The Weinstein Company.

The Alchemist has long been a passion project for Fishburne, who purchased the rights along with A-Mark Entertainment from Warner Bros. in 2007 and in 2008 struck a seven-figure deal with Harvey Weinstein and TWC to produce and distribute. Coelho’s novel has sold over 65 million copies worldwide in 56 different languages, holding the Guinness world record for being the most translated work by a living author. We learned back in 2009 that filmmakers Scott McGehee and Dave Siegel (The Deep End, Bee Season) had been hired to write the script, although it is unknown if they’re still attached. Javier Bardem has also been linked to a role

The Alchemist is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist. The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, above all, following our dreams.

Said Paulo Coelho in 2008, “I am very happy that my book will be filmed in the way I intended it to be and I hope the spirit and simplicity of my work will be preserved. I am excited my friend Laurence Fishburne and Harvey Weinstein will be working together.”

This will mark Fishburne’s second time behind the camera after 2000’s crime drama Once in the Life. He can currently be seen as Earl “Pops” Johnson on the ABC sitcom “black-ish” and as Agent Jack Crawford on NBC’s “Hannibal,” and he will also reprise his role as Perry White from Man of Steel in next year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Elba will next be seen in Cary Fukunaga’s child soldier drama Beasts of No Nation, which will debut via Netflix, and he is rumored to play the main antagonist in Justin Lin’s upcoming Star Trek 3.

(Photo Credit: WENN)

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