EXCLUSIVE: Alibi Media has acquired the film rights to the acclaimed 2014 novel by Juan Gabriel Vásquez The sound of things fallingtouching Gucci house the screenwriter Roberto Bentivegna to direct the project as his first feature film, from his own screenplay.
The novel published by Penguin Group, imprint Riverhead Books, follows Antonio Yammara, who after being injured in a shooting and witnessing the murder of the mysterious Ricardo Laverde, decides to find out who his friend really was, starting a journey into the dark heart of Colombian drugs. trade. What follows is an investigation into a dead man’s past and a pilgrimage to unravel the most elusive thing: the truth.
Widely considered one of the most important Latin American novels of the century, The sound of things falling won the prestigious Alfaguara Prize in Spain in 2011 before winning awards including the Gregor von Rezzori-Città di Firenze Prize in Italy and the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. The New York Times bestseller has been published in 30 languages and over 50 countries worldwide. The feature film adaptation will be produced by Alibi founder and CEO, Cristina Palacio.
“I am thrilled to have this novel adapted for the screen by Roberto Bentivegna, whose work I admire, and produced by the wonderful Cristina Palacio,” Vásquez told Deadline. “The book couldn’t be in better hands.”
Bentivegna declared: “When Cristina brought The sound of things falling came to my attention last year, I was immediately hooked. There have been several books, films, and TV shows that attempt to chronicle the dark past of the Colombian drug trade. Few, in my opinion, do it as poetically and evocatively as Juan Gabriel Vasquez’s masterpiece. It’s a story about people, first and foremost, and a wonderful opportunity to depict a “Latin Noir” in the vein of the 70s existential thrillers I love.
Palacio added, “Bringing Juan Gabriel’s book to the screen has been a persistent obsession. He can’t be more Colombian. It can’t be brighter. Only a privileged and talented mind like that of Roberto Bentivegna could devote himself to adapting this novel. I think no one could grasp its essence better than him.
Vásquez has, in addition to The sound of things fallingwritten novels including The informants, The secret history of Costaguana, Reputations, The shape of the ruins and the imminent Retrospective, all translated into English by Anne McLean. Among his other works are collections of short stories Lovers of All Saints’ Daand Songs for the flamesas well as two books of literary essays — The art of distortion and Travels with a blank map. The writer has translated works by Joseph Conrad and Victor Hugo, among others, and has won two Simón Bolívar awards for his work as a journalist, also seeing his work recognized with awards including the Royal Spanish Academy Prize, the Casa de América Latina de Lisboa Prize, the Biblioteca de Narrativa Colombiana Prize, the Roger Caillois Prize and the Mario Vargas Llosa Biennial Novel Prize, just to name a few. In 2016 he was made a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters of the French Republic and just two years later he was awarded the Order of Isabella the Catholic by the King of Spain.
Bentivegna is a BAFTA nominee best known for her adaptation (with Becky Johnston) of Sarah Gay Forden’s film Gucci house – an epic tale of Italian history, fashion, power and family politics – for four-time Oscar nominee Ridley Scott. The film starring Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Al Pacino, Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons and Salma Hayek became one of the most successful dramas of the pandemic era upon its release in November 2021 – grossing over $153 million worldwide — while claiming Oscar and Golden Globe nominations and other accolades. An adaptation by Jo Nesbø is also on the way for Bentivegna The Jealous Man and Other Stories for Amazon, with Brad Weston producing.
Palacio is best known as one of Latin America’s leading reality showrunners, having produced international editions of such beloved formats as Master Chef, Survived and Who wants to Be a Millionaire?when creating original contests such as Net 4 Elements in Mexico and Colombia. His Pan-American production company, Alibi, is currently producing the fourth season of the latter series for Televisa. Additional credits include comedy film Tuya, my… I ask you starring Adrian Uribe, two seasons of the Latin version of Design star for Discovery, three seasons of Inseparable (Power Couple) for Televisa and Univision, and next El Ruido de las Cosas al Caer.
Bentivegna is represented by WME and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole.