Amblin Nabs Israeli-Palestinian Friendship Novel 'Apeirogon' (Exclusive)

Colum McCann_Steven Spielberg_Split - Getty - H 2020
Elizabeth Eagle/Courtesy of Amblin; Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

National Book Award winner and Oscar nominee Colum McCann wrote the upcoming book that chronicles the unlikely relationship between two fathers who each lost a daughter to violence and turned their grief into action and activism.

Coming off the success of World War I epic 1917, Steven Spielberg's Amblin Partners is set to delve into the Middle East conflict.

The company has acquired film rights to Apeirogon, the upcoming novel written by National Book Award winner Colum McCann. Named a most anticipated book of 2020 by the New York Times, O, The Oprah Magazine and Library Journal, among others, Apeirogon is chronicles the unlikely friendship between two fathers — an Israeli and a Palestinian — who each lost a daughter to violence and turned their grief into action and activism. The epic story is told against the backdrop of unresolved tensions in the heart of the Holy Land.

Random House will publish the novel on Feb. 25.

Amblin’s president of production Holly Bario will oversee the project for the studio, along with Andrew Calof, vp creative affairs.

“Colum is one of the finest authors of our time, and Apeirogon showcases a master at the height of his craft," Bario said Tuesday in a statement. "What Colum has captured is humanity at its most raw, real and affecting.”

Added McCann: "Steven Spielberg and his company have always operated at the cutting edge of storytelling. Their work is fueled by a deep moral concern. They go to the core of the issues of our day. I'm delighted that the story of Rami and Bassam will be in their hands. The word 'apeirogon' means a shape with a countably infinite number of sides, and if anyone can capture the near-infinite shades and nuances of our times, it is the team at Amblin."

Dublin-born McCann is the internationally best-selling author of the novels TransAtlantic, Let the Great World Spin, Zoli, Dancer, This Side of Brightness and Songdogs, as well as three critically acclaimed story collections and the nonfiction book Letters to a Young Writer. His fiction has been published in more than 40 languages. McCann also is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker, The Atlantic and The Paris Review.

Amblin most recently co-financed and produced 1917, which won three Oscars on Sunday and has become a box office hit for Universal, having collected $291 million worldwide to date.