Lionsgate acquired the rights The Guncle, the latest book by bestselling author Steven Rowley. Rowley will adapt and produce the film, which Kristin Burr (Cruella, Dora the Explorer) will produce via its Burr! Productions. Rob Weisbach will also produce.
The book, published last week by Penguin Random House’s Putnam imprint, follows a reclusive and once-famous gay TV star who takes his young niece and nephew to his Palm Springs home after their mother’s sudden death, Presenting them with his inordinate life and his unique wisdom. and bring healing for all three.
The deal marks Rowley’s third book in development after Lily and the octopus (at Amazon Studios) and Editor (20th century workshops). Burr, whose Cruel released in theaters last weekend, is also a producer of the upcoming Lionsgate film The unbearable weight of massive talents with Nicolas Cage.
“We’re always drawn to stories of people finding connection or growth where they least expect it,” said Erin Westerman, president of production for the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group. “It’s a fresh, unexpected and heartwarming story of healing from grief – a poignant look at the family feeling this moment. We are excited to partner with Kristin, Steven and Rob on this wonderful story that will make everyone wish they had a Guncle too.
James Myers and Scott O’Brien of Lionsgate will oversee the studio.
Rowley is replaced by CAA and Rob Weisbach Creative Management.