Winter’s Bone was a critic’s fave in 2010 that has enjoyed a good audience reaction as it wound its way through arthouses, VOD and Netflix. That film might have been a great, attention-getting piece of work, but director Debra Granik had a quiet 2011. She was writing a treatment for a Pippi Longstocking movie and making a documentary about US war veterans in the South, based on a guy who played a bit part in Winter’s Bone.

But back in February there was also minor word that Granik might write and direct an adaptation of the 1996 Russell Banks novel Rule of the Bone, which is about a 14-year old who ends up trying to find his father in the mountains of Jamaica. There hasn’t been much info on the project, but a recent interview with Banks sheds a bit of light on the film.

The Playlist picked up an interview with the Calgary Herald in which Russell Banks says that he is hoping the film will get moving soon. The interview is two months old, and it’s a bit optimistic, as Banks said they were hoping to shoot the movie in 2011. That doesn’t seem like it is going to happen, but Banks, who is exec producing, seemed optimistic at the time and hopefully his enthusiasm is founded in a realistic assessment of the film’s future. He said,

We’re hoping we can shoot that this year. We’re probably going to cast an unknown in the lead and then cast around him. When we get Bone cast, then we’ll work around him and have better-known actors,  recognizable faces around him. We’ll be shooting it in Upstate New York and Jamaica.

Here’s a description of the book:

When we first meet him, Chappie is a punked-out teenager living with his mother and abusive stepfather in an upstate New York trailer park. During this time, he slips into drugs and petty crime. Rejected by his parents, out of school and in trouble with the police, he claims for himself a new identity as a permanent outsider; he gets a crossed-bones tattoo on his arm, and takes the name “Bone.”

He finds dangerous refuge with a group of biker-thieves, and then hides in the boarded-up summer house of a professor and his wife. He finally settles in an abandoned schoolbus with Rose, a child he rescues from a fast-talking pedophile. There Bone meets I-Man, an exiled Rastafarian, and together they begin a second adventure that takes the reader from Middle America to the ganja-growing mountains of Jamaica. It is an amazing journey of self-discovery through a world of magic, violence, betrayal and redemption.

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