Steve Carell to Star in Movie About David Menasche, Teacher With Brain Cancer
via The Priority List Facebook page
Steve Carell is attached to star as David Menasche, the Broward resident and former Coral Reef Senior High English teacher who was stricken with brain cancer and wrote a book about reconnecting with his former students.
The rights to Menasche's The Priority List: A Teacher's Final Quest to Discover Life's Greatest Lessons was bought by Warner Bros. and will be produced by Carell's production company, Carousel Productions.
"I'm a big fan of Steve Carell," Menasche tells New Times. "So to have this come full circle and have him involved is satisfying."
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A passionate English teacher, Menasche's brain cancer took from his him his sight, his mobility and his ability to teach.
Undaunted, he decided to take on a personal cross-country quest to visit hundreds of his former students and see how he had impacted their lives.
Menasche, 40, began his journey, which he dubbed "Vision Quest," in November of 2012 and finished it in February of 2013. A manuscript chronicling his life and journey soon followed. And the book was published and released in January.
Now, the book is in the works to become a film.
"It happened pretty much like these things do," Menasche said. "The idea became a manuscript, the manuscript became a book and the book is becoming a movie."
Several actors and stars had been circulating around the project, but it was Carell, the former star of the hit NBC sitcom The Office that landed the deal.
No script for the film has yet been penned, but Menasche has plans to speak with Carell later this week and hash out ideas.
"My intention is to keep it as faithful to the book as possible," he says. "But our talk will be more or less what direction we want to go in."
Menasche says that he hopes the film will get into some of his original manuscript for Priority List, one that is decidedly darker in tone. That first manuscript was ultimately rejected.
"That first manuscript had more of an edge to it," Menasche says. "It dealt with my childhood and was something the publisher ultimately steered me away from to make it a bit more family friendly. But I'd love to have some of that first manuscript in the film."
Menasche hopes his conversation with Carell will go in that direction, although their initial talks will just be about throwing ideas at each other.
As for the idea of having a film about his life, Menasche remains playfully incredulous as a former English teacher.
"The original idea all along had been to make it into a documentary," he says. "Now students will have an excuse not to read my book and go, 'Oh I'll just watch the movie.'"
You can also like the book's Facebook page here.
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