On Wednesday, July 19, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Malerman’s Michigan-based sensory thriller Bird Box will be making its way to Netflix. The Blind Side‘s Oscar-winning actress Sandra Bullock has been named to lead as Malorie, the mother of two young children whom she risks everything to protect. With Susanne Bier (Brothers) directing Arrival helmer Eric Heisserer’s screenplay, the adaptation looks to be in good hands.
Malerman, a musician by trade, first drafted his page-turning thriller some six years ahead of publication, postponing his rough draft in order to circumvent comparisons to blockbusters like 2008’s The Happening and 2009’s The Road (based on Cormac McCarthy‘s book of the same name), both released only after he’d already finished the manuscript, he revealed in a June 2014 interview with USA Today.
Bird Box establishes itself in the near-future of an unnamed Michigan town and centers around an unthinkable presence that sweeps the nation, driving people to react violently, subsequentially killing themselves, upon just the sight of it. The book begins with Malorie, a rather unsavory protagonist who becomes the heir of two children in the wake of a homicidal and suicidal outbreak of pandemic proportion. Before you know it, everything goes black: the world which Malorie once knew, the will to keep hope alive, and the too-sudden reliance on sound over sight all become secondary instincts to survive.
The author also shared his excitement on Twitter
— Josh Malerman (@JoshMalerman) July 19, 2017
Filming is said to commence this August, however, no other casting details have been made public.
When I read this book last summer, I couldn’t put it down for anything. Before, I hadn’t read anything with this much velocity since [insert anything written by Gillian Flynn]. (Which, if I can be frank, is one helluva compliment, I think.) Not only was this book fucking incredible in every stretch of the imagination, it was definitely the most original thing I’d read in 2016.Malerman does such a superb job at keeping his characters
Malerman does such a superb job at keeping his characters debilitated and the lack of reliance on sight is what made this story, dare I say, frightening? It’s not often that a thriller actually scares me, but because I, too, felt blindfolded while reading, it amplified the suspense factor that much more.
As far as casting details are concerned, I am not sure how Bullock will do in this part. I mean, I’m not discrediting her as an actress, obviously because who am I? (Plus, I was a huge fan of her work in Gravity.) But I envisioned Malorie’s character to be a lot younger and more naive. With that, I am not sure how Bullock will pull this off on screen, but I so excited to review the film once it comes out all the same.
If you want something incredibly engaging and original (especially for a debut), then you most certainly will want to pick this book up ASAP. Not to mention, Malerman’s sophomore effort, Black Made Wheel (released earlier this May) carries the exact same sensory void that made Bird Box such a success. I highly suggest you pick up this man’s works, you will not regret it.