Earlier this year, author Eliza Griswold found herself facing writing’s highest honor head-on: the Pulitzer Prize. Griswold has written several celebrated works, including Wideawake Field, The Tenth Parallel, and a translation of I Am the Beggar of the World. Her most recent book, published in 2018 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, is Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America. Since its publication, Amity and Prosperity received the highly esteemed Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction. The book, which tells the story of a single parent, Stacey Haney, navigating an Appalachian small town recently transformed by the energy boom, is going to be developed into a limited series by Film 44. Berg and Lombardo came together with Film 44 one year ago. In January, the studio spearheaded its first series, Dare Me, for USA Network. The story was based by the novel, Megan Abbot.
The series will provide yet another retelling of Haney’s story, which takes place over seven years. The woman has spent her entire life in Amity, a small town in Pennsylvania. What begins as irritation regarding fracking trucks crowding her street mounts into fear as family members and pets are stricken by sudden illness. Hydraulic fracking, the process of injecting a combination of chemicals and water deep underground in order to loosen otherwise unobtainable natural gas deposits, proves to be the ultimate culprit. But while Haney’s family suffers, others benefit from the economic opportunities unearthed by the fracking industry. This pits community members against one another, and the result is a narrative strewn with tension. Eventually, in spite of community push back and the companies’ claim of no wrongdoing, Haney joins a cohort of concerned neighbors and takes fracking companies to court. This decision brings its own wave of shortcomings. Haney becomes alienated by the town she sought to save. To top this, she soon finds herself drowning in a sea of complex litigation. To quote Jennifer Czalai’s review of the book with The New York Times, “Parts of Amity and Prosperity read as intimately as a novel, though its insidious, slow-motion ordeal is all too real.”
Peter Berg and Michael Lombarg will executive produce the project, and Kristiana Lauren Anderson has been hired to write its script. Anderson is known for her work as a consulting producer on TNT’s The Alienist and a writer on Mandeville Films’ adaptation of Swan Lake, in which Felicity Jones will star.
WME represents Film 44.