Naomi Watts has signed on to be the lead in the film adaptation of Penguin Bloom, the top-selling Australian book of the same name written by Bradley Trevor Greive, with photographs by Cameron Bloom.
The book is a true story of a little bird who saves a family. Cameron and Sam Bloom and their three boys were an everyday family until an accident left Sam paralysed from the chest down. As the family struggled to adjust to their new situation, an unlikely ally in the form of an injured magpie chick entered their lives, who they named Penguin, and would become a mascot for the family.
The book was published as Penguin The Magpie in the US, and has been highly acclaimed and was quickly optioned last December by Reese Witherspoon. Alongside Watts in the starring role, Shaun Grant (Snowtown, Berlin Syndrome) has signed on to pen the adaptation.
Grant and whoever is brought in to direct will have to balance the tone of the inevitable tear-jerking scenes in order to make sure the film doesn’t descent into melodramatic Oscar bait territory. Although the story certainly leans that way, hopefully the film can take the true story and influence from the photographs in the book to create something genuinely affecting.