Warner Bros. has snapped up rights to adapt It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War, a memoir by Lynsey Addario that the studio has snagged Steven Spielberg to direct and Jennifer Lawrence to star in.
The project has been red-hot ever since an excerpt from It’s What I Do ran in The New York Times Magazine, and the recent media spotlight on the perils faced by war-zone reporters makes it extremely timely as well.
Addario is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist whose work took her to the most hostile regions on Earth. She reported out of Afghanistan following the U.S.’s invasion there, specifically centering on the human cost of conflict. Some of her stories centered on genocide victims in Darfur, Afghans under the Taliban’s thumb and victims of rape in the Congo. Perhaps the most compelling and harrowing chapter of Addario’s professional life came when she was abducted by pro-Qaddafi forces while reporting on the Libyan civil war.
Those in the mix to tackle her story previously included Working Title (which had Reese Witherspoon attached), Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky (who wanted it for Natalie Portman), The Weinstein Company (which had George Clooney attached in some capacity) and Focus star Margot Robbie. However, looking at the one-two punch of a three-time Oscar-winning director and Hollywood’s most ubiquitous actress, there’s no question that Warner Bros. was going to come out on top in that fight.
Expect Warner Bros. to fast-track this one and aim for an awards season release. Of course, the studio has just booked two incredibly in-demand stars, so it may take some doing to make their schedules align. Spielberg is currently prepping The BFG, while Lawrence is shooting Joy in Boston. Still, we’d bet execs would move heaven and Earth to make It’s What I Do happen within the next year.