Forest Whitaker Set to Write, Direct, Star in Adaptation of ‘The Shack’

Justin Kroll
Variety

Following the huge success of “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” Forest Whitaker is looking to stay busy in 2014 both in front of and behind the camera as he is in final negotiations to write, direct and star in Lionsgate’s adaptation of best-selling novel “The Shack.”

Whitaker is also in talks to join Liam Neeson in Fox’s “Taken 3,” which he will probably do first, and then follow with “The Shack.”

Based on the William P. Young novel published in 2007, the story follows a man whose youngest daughter is abducted during a family vacation, with evidence found in an abandoned shack leading authorities to believe she was murdered. Four years later, the man receives a note, apparently from God, inviting him back to the shack and, against his better judgement, he accepts the invitation and finds something there that will change his life forever.

Gil Netter will produce the pic.

The book adaptation would be a major project for Lionsgate, as the book has sold more than 10 million copies since its publication. Whitaker previously directed  “Waiting to Exhale” and “Hope Floats,” but this would be the first time he would star in, direct and write a film, which shows how important the material is to him.

Whitaker already had a strong 2013 with “The Butler,” “Black Nativity” and “Out of the Furnace,” and with “The Shack” and “Taken 3,” the multi-hyphenate looks to be lining up a strong schedule for the coming year.

He is repped by WME and Brillstein Entertainment.

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