The bestselling novel Orphan Train is being developed into a film
Broad Green Pictures will adapt Christina Baker Kline’s bestselling novel Orphan Train into a major motion picture. Academy Award nominee Michael London and Janice Williams of Groundswell Productions (Trumbo, Milk) will produce the film. Award-winning screenwriter Christopher Monger (Temple Grandin, The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain) will pen the script.
Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from cities on the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by pure luck. Inspired by these little-known events in American history, Orphan Train weaves together the stories of Vivian Daly, a 91-year-old Irish immigrant who as a child was shipped from New York City to Minnesota on one of thousands of ‘orphan trains’ and Molly Ayer, a 17-year-old who is on the verge of aging out of the foster care system in present-day Maine. An unlikely friendship develops between the two women when Molly is “hired” to help Vivian clean out her attic as required community service, and soon discovers the parallels in their lives as outsiders, exposing a secret which has haunted Vivian her entire life.
Published in 2013, “Orphan Train” has enjoyed phenomenal success and captured audiences around the world. The critically-acclaimed novel has been praised by multiple media outlets including USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly and Huffington Post; sold more than two million copies in print; been published in 35 countries and has spent over 100 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list, including five weeks at #1.
Daniel Hammond, Chief Creative Officer at Broad Green Pictures said, “’Orphan Train’ is a poignant story with historical significance; it educates and inspires as it touches upon universal themes of family, friendship, loss, identity, and the meaning of home. We are huge fans of the novel and look forward to bringing the story to the big screen.”
“I’m thrilled to be partnering with Broad Green on Christina Baker Kline’s beloved book,” said London. “It is a rare gift to get to tell both an untold chapter in American history and a contemporary drama about a teenage girl and an elderly woman creating family together. I’ve seldom been so moved by a novel and I’m enormously excited about the challenge of living up to Christina’s book and its rightfully huge audience.”
Asher Goldstein and Shary Shirazi will oversee the project for Broad Green Pictures.