Abner Benaim To Direct Feature Adaptation Of Philip Roth’s ‘Nemesis’; Fabula’s Pablo Larraín Among Producers

Abner Benaim To Direct Feature Adaptation Of Philip Roth’s ‘Nemesis’; Fabula’s Pablo Larraín Among Producers

EXCLUSIVE: Oscar-shortlisted Panamanian filmmaker Abner Benaim (Plaza Catedral) is gearing up to direct a feature adaptation of Nemesis, the final bestseller by Philip Roth to be published prior to the famed author’s 2018 passing.

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Dealing with such timely themes as an epidemic and antisemitism, Nemesis was described in The New Yorker as having “the elegance of a fable and the tragic inevitability of a Greek drama.” The novel published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in October of 2010 is set in the summer of 1944, examining the impact of a polio epidemic on a Newark, NJ community and its children.

Peter Glanz (The Longest Week) adapted the screenplay. Pablo Larraín, Juan de Dios Larraín and Andrew Hevia will produce for Fabula — the production company behind Foreign Language Oscar winner A Fantastic Woman, the Kristen Stewart starrer Spencer, and the upcoming drama Maria starring Angelia Jolie. Additional producers include Fernando Loureiro (Frances Ha, Our Son) for Tigresa, and Benaim.

Guilherme Coelho (Orphans of Eldorado) will exec produce, with Carlos García de Paredes (Resistance) serving as an associate producer. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is providing technical support for the film.

The filmmaker behind three titles named as Panama’s official selection for the Oscars, Benaim made history in 2022 with Plaza Catedral, the drama that became the first out of the country to make the Oscars shortlist. That film, which he wrote, directed and produced, tells the story of Alicia (Ilse Salas), a grief-stricken 42-year-old woman whose world is turned upside down when a bleeding 14-year-old boy stumbles into her home. Benaim is also known for helming the 2009 dramedy Chance; the 2014 documentary Invasión, examining the United States’ invasion of Panama in 1989, which screened at IDFA; and the documentary Ruben Blades Is Not My Name, on the Panamanian musician of the same name, which won a SXSW Audience Award in 2018.

Glanz wrote and directed the romantic dramedy The Longest Week, starring Jason Bateman, Olivia Wilde, Billy Crudup and Jenny Slate, which was released by Gravitas Ventures in 2014. He just completed a script about the whirlwind life of Jean-Michel Basquiat entitled Samo Lives, which Julias Onah will direct with Kelvin Harrison Jr. starring and Fifth Season producing. Glanz also recently adapted the novel Chopin and Beyond for Paramount and Martin Scorsese, additionally penning the sci-fi noir romance Only the Lonely for JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot and Paramount.

Benaim is repped by Circle of Confusion; Glanz by Mosaic and CAA.

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