Tom Tykwer Also Adapting Dave Eggers' What is the What

February 9, 2009
Source: Film School Rejects

Tom Tykwer - What is the What

Last week we exclusively reported that German director Tom Tykwer was working on an adaptation of David Mitchell's novel "Cloud Atlas" with the Wachowski Brothers. While that is an exciting project, the book is apparently very hard to adapt, which is why it's not the only thing Tykwer has been working on recently. He told Film School Rejects today that he's also been working on adapting Dave Eggers' 2006 novel "What is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng." So what is this book all about? Well, it's a fictionalized account based on the real life story of one of the Lost Boys of the Sudan.

Apparently Tykwer is already "deeply involved" in developing this novel into a film, even moreso than "Cloud Atlas." In fact, if everything goes as planned, What is the What may be the film that he ends up directing next. The book follows Deng, who as a boy is separated from his family during the Second Sudanese Civil War. He flees with a group of other young boys to a refugee camp in Ethiopia, but then must flee again to Kenya. Years later he finally makes it to America. It sounds like a very intriguing story and could make for a great film, especially with Tykwer directing. We'll keep our ears open for more!

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