Steve Carell is taking a turn for the serious, attaching himself to star in Dogs of Babel, a drama for Mandate Pictures.
Carell will also produce the project, an adaptation of a novel by Carolyn Parkhurst, along with David Heyman of Heyday Films, Corey May and Dooma Wendschuh of Sekretagent Productions.
The novel, described as a tragic story of love and loss centers on a linguistics professor (Carell), who returns home one day to find his wife dead in their backyard. Though police rule her death an accident, the professor is not quite sure. With the only witness to the death being the couple's dog, the grief-stricken man endeavors to teach it to talk in the hopes that he can uncover what really happened.
I truly enjoyed this book. Parkhurst crafted a story filled with tension and emotion, with a premise that you knew was going to break your heart and a protagonist whose heart you knew would be broken.
I can't wait to see what Steve Carell does with the piece. I hope, as I always do when stories are taken from page to screen, that the screenwriter stays true to the novel, to the story (beginning, middle, and end), and to the characters. The Dogs of Babel family - Paul, the stricken husband, his late wife, Lexy, and their beautiful Rhodesian Ridgeback, Lorelei - deserve a solid and true adaptation.
Note: The Dogs of Babel was published as Lorelei's Secret in the UK.
A true story from The New York Times: Dog Might Provide Clues on How Language is Acquired by Nicholas Wade