Debra Granik is taking on a new genre. The Oscar-nominated filmmaker will make her first foray into the YA world with a feature adaptation of “Like No Other,” Una LaMarche’s 2014 novel about star-crossed lovers. Deadline broke the news.
Described as a “contemporary take on ‘West Side Story,’” “Like No Other” centers on a forbidden romance between a Devorah, a Hasidic girl, and Jaxon, the secular boy she meets on Eastern Parkway.
Granik and Anne Rosellini of Still Rolling Productions optioned the YA book with Mad Dog Film’s Alix Madigan. The former two are penning its script.
“We were pulled in immediately by the strength and complexity of young Devorah and the journey she takes to find her path in life,” said Granik, Rosellini, and Madigan in a joint statement. “The world Una creates is one we want to live in – where unexpected friendships are made and rigidity gives way to allowing for love and for the acceptance of the ‘other.’”
Granik and Rosellini received a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar nomination in 2011 for “Winter’s Bone,” Jennifer Lawrence’s breakout film. Granik directed the Best Picture nominee. More recently, she helmed 2018 Thomasin McKenzie-starrer “Leave No Trace.” The critically acclaimed daughter-father drama screened at Sundance and Cannes. Granik’s other credits include 2014 doc “Stray Dog” and 2004 drama “Down to the Bone.”
“I like to think of my films as representing a side of America that doesn’t often get screen time,” Granik told us in 2018. The writer-director is also working on “Nickel and Dimed,” an adaptation of Barbara Ehrenreich’s 2001 book about Americans working for poverty-level wages. “It’s about the lives of ordinary working Americans in the service economy,” Granik has said. “It doesn’t dwell on their ‘down-and-outness’; it’s about that thing that gets people back up again. I call this a love letter to New Jersey.”