David Benioff and DB Weiss to adapt The Overstory for Netflix
James R | On 12, Feb 2021
Former Game of Throners David Benioff and DB Weiss are adapting The Overstory for Netflix.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, written by Richard Powers, was first published in 2019.
It unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fables that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. An Air Force loadmaster in the Vietnam War is shot out of the sky, then saved by falling into a banyan. An artist inherits a hundred years of photographic portraits, all of the same doomed American chestnut. A hard-partying undergraduate in the late 1980s electrocutes herself, dies and is sent back into life by creatures of air and light. A hearing- and speech-impaired scientist discovers that trees are communicating with one another.
These four, and five other strangers – each summoned in different ways by trees – are brought together in a last and violent stand to save the continent’s few remaining acres of virgin forest. There is a world alongside ours – vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.
The novel will be developed into a series, with Hugh Jackman also serving as an exec-producer on the project. The pilot script was penned by Richard Robbins. He is also on board as an EP, along with Bernadette Caulfield, who is president of Benioff and Weiss’ production company.
The pair inked an exclusive overall deal with Netflix back in 2019 and this is the latest of their projects in the works for the streamer, following The Chair, a half-hour dramedy is set in the English department at a major university starring Sandra Oh and Amanda Peet, plus sci-fi series The Three-Body Problem based on Liu Cixin’s novel.