What to expect from ‘The Alchemist’ movie adaptation
The much-anticipated film adaptation of the popular novel "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho, is set to start production in Morocco this September. The announcement was made at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this month. The film will be produced by renowned actor Will Smith's Westbrook Studios, Netter Films and PalmStar Media, and directed by Kevin Frakes, who has also co-written the script with Ryan Kreston.
The cast of the film includes Sebastian de Souza as Santiago, Tom Hollander, Shoreh Aghdashloo and other eminent actors. Producer Zakaria Alaoui intends to maintain the originality of the novel's setting in Spain and North Africa. The movie is expected to be released by the end of 2022.
"The Alchemist" was originally written in Portuguese. Later, it was translated to 56 languages, and sold over 100 million copies. It also holds the Guinness World Record for most translated work by a living author.
"The Alchemist" is a story about a young Andalusian shepherd named Santiago who repeatedly dreams of finding a treasure underneath the pyramids of Egypt that spurs him to undertake the journey and follow his dreams. The novel also interplays with the theme of fear as an obstacle to our dreams and achievements. Other themes include nature, spirituality, fate, love, and self-discovery.
Coelho's most essential message to his readers is to follow their dreams no matter what the circumstances, and the universe will pave ways for them. Producer Gil Netter has said that people have found inspiration in "The Alchemist" to pursue their dreams and never lose hope when faced with adversity.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros initially acquired the film rights from Coelho in the early 1990s, which were then transferred to director Laurence Fishburne, a fan of the novel. Fishburne wanted to direct the adaptation himself. In 2008, he sold the film's production rights to The Weinstein Co while he would still remain as the director. Idris Elba was supposed to join Fishburne in 2015, but the actor was replaced by PalmStar's Frakes in 2016, who acquired the rights and screenplay for $ 5 million.
While some sources said that the film is facing financial obstacles, a production spokesperson cleared the air in an email that it is a rights transfer issue, as the project is fully-financed. The film is currently in its preproduction stage, and is expected to be in the making within a few weeks. On July 19, 2021, Coelho tweeted that he did not want to engage in the film's production, as he sold the rights in 1992. However, he claimed to be a big fan of Will Smith, and said that he will watch the film when it is ready.
As a fan of the book, I am thrilled about the movie's release as it will be a treat to compare the movie with how I had originally envisioned the book. We can patiently hope for all issues to be resolved in time so that the film finally gets its breakthrough.
The author is a freelance journalist. Email: email@example.com.