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Zagar ’03 to Direct HBO Adaptation of Alum Marzano-Lesnevich’s Memoir

As writer Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, MFA ’09 pointed out, HBO’s limited series adaptation of their memoir, The Fact of a Body: A Murder, will very much be an Emerson influenced project.

Richard Hoffman is an Emerson Writer-in-Residence, and Writing, Literature and Publishing Professor Emeritus Douglas Whynott was Marzano-Lesnevich’s thesis advisor.

The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir follows Marzano-Lesnevich as a young law student who investigates their own past as they delve into the past of a convicted child murderer. It was named one of the best books of the year by a number of publications, including The Guardian, The Times of LondonEntertainment Weekly, and Bustle. The book won a lot of awards including, a Lambda Literary Award, the Chautauqua Prize, the Grand Prix des Lectrices ELLE, the Prix des libraires du Quebec, and the Prix France Inter-JDD.

Fellow alum Jeremiah Zagar ’03 will direct, produce, and co-write the script for the film. Zagar is currently directing Adam Sandler, Queen Latifah, and Robert Duvall in Hustle. Zagar won the NEXT Innovator Award at Sundance for We The Animals, which he directed and co-wrote.

Zagar and Marzano-Lesnevich spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about their excitement of working together:

“I am honored that Alex has entrusted me with this material. As a fan of the book, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to bring such a powerful and profound story to life,” Zagar said.

Added author Marzano-Lesnevich in a statement of their own: “I’ve long been an admirer of Jeremiah’s work, particularly his visually-driven, haunting approach to storytelling. This is a dream pairing to me. I can’t wait to see the story come to life in his hands.”

Bowdoin College also congratulated Marzano-Lesnevich on their book being picked up by HBO.

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