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Jennifer Lawrence Top Contender for Jeannette Walls Biopic

Written by on April 23, 2012 

It’s no surprise she’d be first on their list, but: Lionsgate is hoping to put even more stock in Jennifer Lawrence, with Deadline reporting they’ve recently acquired screen rights to The Glass Castle: A Memoir — a tell-all book from gossip columnist Jeannette Walls — and they want her to be the lead. (Not knowing who a person is, after reading the words “gossip columnist,” creates no shame.)

The book — the highest all-time ranked memoir on The New York Times’ best-seller list, as it were — recounts Walls’ upbringing in a family described as “dysfunctional but vibrant,” how alcoholism affected this dynamic, and ways in which she and her siblings coped with all the rifts. Serious material, you see. Gil Netter (The Blind Side) is being set to produce, while Marti Noxon (Fright Night) has been tapped for the script; Lawrence, meanwhile, is in the midst of negotiations.

The role, though not something I know much of, doesn’t sound entirely different from, for instance, her character in Winter’s Bone — and that put her on the map in the first place. (I expect less severed limbs, but the basic “gist” is all there.) Not that any similarities are exactly required, however; Lawrence is, without question, a terrific actress who’s probably capable of more than just about anyone else her age, so an indigent family in the mountains of West Virgina should be a cake walk.

You can read a longer synopsis of The Glass Castle below (via Amazon):

“Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn’t stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an “excitement addict.” Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.

Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town — and the family — Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents’ betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.”

Have you read the original book, and do you think it could work as a film? How about with Lawrence in the lead?

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