Jez Butterworth has been hired to adapt Don DeLillo‘s novel The Silence for the screen. Producer Uri Singer, who is also producing Netflix’s upcoming adaptation of DeLillo’s White Noise, secured the rights to the book, which was published in 2020.
The Silence takes place at a dinner party in Manhattan during Super Bowl Sunday in the year 2022. The diners include a retired physics professor, and her husband and her former student, who are waiting for a couple to join them after flying in from Paris. To reveal any more would spoil the book’s post-modern twist and turns.
Butterworth is one of the most acclaimed playwrights working today, having written such award-winners such as Jerusalem, The River, and The Ferryman.
He’s also got experience in film too, having co-written Ford v Ferrari, Spectre, and Edge Of Tomorrow. He’s currently co-writing the upcoming fifth Indiana Jones film.
This is the third DeLillo novel in the last year to be announced as getting a film adaptation. Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig are working on Netflix’s adaptation of White Noise, while Ted Melfi is adapting the writer’s magnum opus Underworld, also for Netflix.
This trend of DeLillo novels getting adapted doesn’t quite match the rate of Stephen King works getting greenlit after the success of IT in 2017, but it will be interesting to see how the novels of one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century work in a different medium.
The Silence feels especially relevant to contemporary times, and should get people talking when it arrives.