Hollywood’s taking another shot at turning the literary luminaries of the prairie into stars of the silver screen.
The Hollywood Reporter says Paramount bought the rights to Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House on the Prairie” from Sony, where the production of the movie had been off and on since 2012.
As the report hit the Internet on Wednesday, however, corks weren’t popping at the Minnesota Film and TV Board, the state panel that dishes out tax breaks for productions shot here. “It’s still a long way from actually happening,” board executive director Lucinda Winter said.
She pointed out that Paramount’s pickup of the project was just announced this week and the movie doesn’t show up on the rolls of any official insider studio reports for projects in early stages of production. No one has contacted Minnesota, Winter said, adding that it’s unlikely anyone has decided yet where the movie will be shot and whether it will be in a studio or on location.
“Will I be reaching out to them and pitching Minnesota as a location? Absolutely,” she said.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the film has a director and a screenwriter with solid projects on their résumés.
Filmmaker Sean Durkin, whose most significant credit was the art house movie about a woman escaping a cult, “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” is reportedly set to direct. Abi Morgan is the screenwriter. Her numerous credits include “The Iron Lady” and “Suffragette.” No casting has been announced.
Paramount’s decision to acquire the project is an indication the studio wants to bring it to the screen, and Winter said there’s good reason for that.
“It’s a valuable property,” she said. “Even as long ago as this TV show ran, it still has a fan base and they can build on that. Everybody loves ‘Little House.’ ”
The NBC show aired from 1974 to 1983 and starred the late Michael Landon as the father of a family living in the 1880s Midwest. The show was inspired by the classic series by Wilder, who based it on her childhood in Minnesota, Wisconsin and South Dakota.