Fox 2000 has acquired Sherman Alexie’s best-selling YA book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.
Hugh Jackman, who has a first-look deal at Fox, will play a supporting role in the film as well as serve in some producing capacity.
The story centers on a teen named Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, he leaves his troubled school on the reservation to attend an all-white farming town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.
Temple Hill, which has teamed with Fox 2000 on a number of YA hit adaptations including The Fault in Our Stars, will produce alongside Donners‘ Company (Deadpool).
Alexie, who grew up on the very same reservation depicted in the book, is no stranger to Hollywood, having written the 1998 indie breakout Smoke Signals, another coming-of-age story set on a reservation.
Temple Hill’s Wyck Godfrey and Isaac Klausner are producing Absolutely True Diary alongside Lauren Shuler Donner and Jack Leslie.
Though the book was published nearly a decade ago, it continues to sell briskly, appearing on the New York Times’ best-seller list years after its initial run. It remains a favorite among middle-school teachers, but also is credited with dealing realistically with harsh issues including poverty and bulimia.
Elizabeth Gabler and Erin Simonoff are overseeing the film at Fox 2000.
Jackman is currently shooting The Greatest Showman for Fox. He is repped by WME, Lou Coulson Associates and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.
Alexie is managed by Anonymous Content.