March 28, 2017

Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman option George Saunders’s Lincoln in the Bardo


It’s always a kind of windfall when a publisher (or an agent who’s held onto performance rights) sells a book’s film option to a production company — not necessarily because the book will actually become a movie (it often won’t), but because it’s at least more money in pockets and it signals a certain buzz for the publication itself.

Even though there’s not yet a director or cast attached, chances seem pretty good that beloved writer and What We Do Now contributor George Saunders’s debut novel Lincoln in the Bardo will indeed make it to the big screen: Last week, Patrick Hipes at Deadline reported that Megan Mullally and Nick Offermanwho already worked with Saunders on the 166-voice audio edition—have acquired the film rights.

Saunders said of the deal:

I can’t imagine two more brilliant, wide-open, joyful collaborators. This is going to be big fun. My hope is that we can find a way to make the experience of getting this movie made as wild and enjoyable and unpredictable as the experience of writing it — I am so happy to have such fearless companions on the trip.

Lincoln in the Bardo doesn’t really need any buzz—in February it debuted on the top of the New York Times bestseller list (no small feat) and, duh, everyone loves George Saunders (how could you not!)—but it would still be pretty cool to see what kind of adaptation this particular creative team would come up with.



Taylor Sperry is a former Melville House editor.