EXCLUSIVE: Concordia Studio, the studio set up by An Inconvenient Truth director Davis Guggenheim and former Participant exec Jonathan King, is adapting Gabriel Bump’s book Everywhere You Don’t Belong for TV.
The Boys State producer, which is backed by Laurene Powell Jobs and her Emerson Collective, is turning the book, which is set on the south side of Chicago, into a half-hour series.
Bump, who published his debut novel last year, will adapt with Concordia’s Patrick Callan and King exec producing.
The book follows Claude McKay Love, a young black man, who searches hard for a place to fit in while at the same time realizing that he has to get out of his beloved city.
Claude isn’t dangerous or brilliant – he’s an average kid coping with abandonment, violence, riots, failed love, and societal pressures as he steers his way past the signposts of youth: childhood friendships, basketball tryouts, first love, first heartbreak, picking a college, moving away from home. Claude just wants a place where he can fit. He is raised by his civil rights–era grandmother, who tries to shape him into a principled actor for change; yet when riots consume his neighborhood, he hesitates to take sides, unwilling to let race define his life. He decides to escape Chicago for another place, to go to college, to find a new identity, to leave the pressure cooker of his hometown behind. But as he discovers, he cannot; there is no safe haven for a young black man in this time and place called America.
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It is Concordia’s latest scripted project, although one of its first for the small screen. The company is developing feature adaptations of This Is Chance!: The Shaking of an All-American City, A Voice That Held It Together with Ol Parker, Swan Song with Mahershala Ali and The Other Dr. Gilmer with Jennifer Fox.
“Patrick and Jonathan are dream collaborators: brilliant, compassionate, and unafraid storytellers with impressive catalogues,” said Gabriel Bump. “Through each step in the creative process, they’ve unlocked new and exciting facets of Everywhere You Don’t Belong. It feels like we’re making something special. I can’t believe my dumb luck. I hope everyone enjoys what we put together as much as we’ve enjoyed making it.”
“Everywhere You Don’t Belong captures a pivotal moment in time for Chicago’s South Side and its young protagonist. Gabriel’s voice is singularly funny and cutting at the same time; we fell in love with the book. We are thrilled to have him adapt his own work to preserve that rare balance of urgency and hilarity,” added Callan and King.
Bump is repped by ICM and Management 360.