Entertainment

Hollywood courts Marlon James

By Howard Campbell
Observer senior writer

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

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Leading American film company Amazon Studios will produce a television show based on Jamaican author Marlon James' award-winning book, A Brief History of Seven Killings.

An article in the Hollywood Reporter, disclosed that a high-profile production team will oversee the project, led by Melina Matsoukas as director and executive producer.

The 47-year-old James is also involved as executive producer.

Other executive producers are Malcolm Spellman, whose credits include the hit television series Empire, and Jill Soloway, the creator and driving force behind Transparent, another Amazon Studio project, which won two Golden Globe Awards in 2016.

No release date has been announced for the television version of A Brief History of Seven Killings.

Released by Riverhead Books in 2014, A Brief History of Seven Killings won the 2015 Man Booker Prize. The book is inspired by the December 1976 assassination attempt on reggae star Bob Marley, at his home in Kingston.

It tracks the movement of players in Jamaica's underworld from Kingston to New York over a 20-year period.

Before moving into television, Matsoukas earned a reputation directing mega music videos such as Beyoncé's Formation and We Found Love by Rihanna.

“I am deeply honoured to be entrusted with this tapestry of stories so entrenched in roots, reggae, race, mysticism and politics,”Matsoukas told the Hollywood Reporter.

A Brief History of Seven Killings is Kingston-born James' third book. His first book, John Crow's Devil, was published in 2005 and his second, The Book of Night Women, came out four years later.

A Brief History of Seven Killings won the Man Booker Prize over five other books including A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyle, the American Pultizer Prize winner.

“It's a crime novel that moves beyond the world of crime and takes us deep into a recent history we know far too little about,” was how Michael Wood, chair of the Man Booker judges, described A Brief History of Seven Killings.

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