Weinstein to produce "Alchemist" film adaptation

Sun May 18, 2008 11:27am EDT
 
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By Mike Collett-White

CANNES, France (Reuters) - The Weinstein Company will produce Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist" in a big-budget adaptation directed by Hollywood star Laurence Fishburne, Harvey Weinstein announced in Cannes on Sunday.

He said the movie would cost "60 million dollars-plus" to make and would start shooting in late spring or early summer.

The movie mogul will be hoping to build on his success with other literary adaptations including "The English Patient" and "The Talented Mr. Ripley."

"It's a book that I've been truly inspired by," Weinstein told reporters at the Cannes film festival.

"I will be personally producing. I rarely produce movies, as you know. We cause movies to be produced."

He said that "The Alchemist," first published 20 years ago, combined elements that should make it appeal to a broad audience -- spirituality, a journey, youth, love and action.

Coelho's novel, which has sold an estimated 30 million copies worldwide, tells the story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who travels to Africa in search of his dream and meets the alchemist along the way.

Fishburne, who in a video message said he felt like "the luckiest man on the planet," will play the alchemist as well as direct and help develop the script.   Continued...

 
<p>The cover of "The Alchemist" by Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho. Coelho's novel, which has sold an estimated 30 million copies worldwide, tells the story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who travels to Africa in search of his dream and meets the alchemist along the way. REUTERS/HarperCollins</p>