Sarah Polley to adapt Atwood’s Alias Grace for the big screen

The page-to-screen adaptation is one of 29 projects receiving seed financing from Astral's Harold Greenberg Fund during its latest funding round.
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Sarah Polley has long been pursuing the rights to Alias Grace, a novel by Margaret Atwood, and now finally has optioned the literary property, as Astral Media’s Harold Greenberg Fund on Tuesday said it is investing in her page-to-screen adaptation.

In all, the fund’s English-language program unveiled seed financing for 29 new and ongoing projects through its Script Development Program, including Vincenzo Natali’s Nobody, an adaptation of Shundo Ohkawa’s Japanese film of the same name, and Paris, a political drama to be directed by Paul Haggis, and based on a script by Dawn Kuisma.

Polley’s big screen treatment of Alias Grace, Atwood’s novel based on a true story about a notorious Canadian 19th century murder, will be produced by Tangled Inc. and is only at the story optioning phase.

Polley’s first feature, Away From Her, was adapted from a short story by Alice Munro, another celebrated Canadian writer.

The Harold Greenberg Fund is also helping fund Paris, which is being co-produced with Christine Tyson of Diamonds to Bullets Entertainment and Oscar-winning producer Bobby Moresco (Crash).

The Dawn Kuisma and Paul Haggis project also has support from Telefilm Canada.

Also being supported in this round of funding is Peter Stebbings’ Empire of Dirt and The Lion’s Share from Edwin Boyd producers Nathan Morlando and Allison Black, novelist and first-time screenwriter Joseph Boyden’s adaptation of Red and a new Trailer Park Boys flick, Race Dicks.