Berlin: 'Like Crazy' Writer Boards WWII Project 'Between Shades of Gray' (Exclusive)
Ruta Sepetys’ New York Times best-selling World War II-era novel Between Shades of Gray has been optioned by Sorrento Productions and Tauras Films.
Ben York Jones, who co-wrote 2011 Sundance winner Like Crazy, has written the film adaptation, while The Other Dream Team helmer Marius Markevicius will direct.
Markevicius will produce alongside Europe-based producer Zilvinas Naujokas of Tauras Films. The U.S.-Europe co-production is scheduled to begin filming in 2014 and will looking for financiers at Berlin's European Film Market in February.
Published in more than 40 countries and 26 languages, Between Shades of Gray tells the story of a 15-year-old aspiring artist who is deported to Siberia during Joseph Stalin's cleansing of the Baltic region during WWII.
The name of the film will be changed in order to avoid confusion with the upcoming adaptation of EL James' Fifty Shades of Grey.
"It's amazing that the atrocities of Stalin and the Siberian mass deportations are still a relatively unknown and untold part of history. We hope to change that with this film," Markevicius says in a statement. "I'm also thrilled to once again collaborate with Ben York Jones on this adaptation. Ben has an incredible ability to capture raw emotion and young love in his writing and those two elements will be the key drivers in our film."
Jones has collaborated on several of Drake Doremus' previous films. He had a role in 2010's Douchebag and co-wrote Like Crazy and Breathe In -- all of which were helmed by Doremus and premiered at Sundance. Jones was represented in the deal by CAA, Luber Roklin Entertainment and Bloom Hergott.
Markevicius' documentary The Other Dream Team -- about the 1992 Lithuanian basketball team -- premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He was also a producer on The Other Dream Team and Like Crazy.