John Sayles To Adapt Frank Herbert’s Soul Catcher

Chris Eyre will direct

John Sayles To Adapt Frank Herbert's Soul Catcher

by Owen Williams |
Published on

Of the 27 novels and dozens of short stories Frank Herbert wrote, only Dune and its sequels have ever caught the interest of filmmakers. That's about to change, however, with the announcement that Herbert's Soul Catcher is in the process of being adapted. No less a name than John Sayles is writing the screenplay, and Chris Eyre will direct.

Relatively unusually for Herbert, Soul Catcher is not a science-fiction novel, although it's still infused with the fascination for ecology and politics that imbues the rest of his work. It revolves around a Native American activist who kidnaps the son of a high-profile US politician, with the intention of sacrificing the boy to appease the ancient spirits of his ancestors. But as the pair are hunted by the authorities across the Pacific Northwest, they form a surprising bond which changes the abductor's agenda.

It's a clear fit for Eyres' own CV. The director is himself an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, and his previous work like Smoke Signals, Skins and Skinwalkers has often been deeply engaged with Native American issues. His most recent film as director was the drama Hide Away in 2011, starring Josh Lucas, Ayelet Zurer and James Cromwell.

Sayles, meanwhile, began his career with Roger Corman, went on to indie classics like City Of Hope and Lone Star, and last directed the thriller Go For Sisters in 2013. He's since been busy as executive producer on the TV series Talents, set in a dying LA arthouse cinema. His drama pilot Dr. Del, starring John Hawkes, Chloe Sevigny and Ted Levine, is currently in pre-production with Katie Jacobs at the helm.

Soul Catcher doesn't have a start or release date yet. The next job will be casting...

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