Culture / Film

Sofia Coppola is adapting a memoir about the AIDS crisis

sofia coppola fairyland

Our ears prick up whenever Sofia Coppola's name is mentioned, it's true. But even more so after hearing about the directors next project. Using Alysia Abbott's memoir Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father as a launching pad, Coppola is joining forces with Andrew Durham to bring this story to the big screen, one that centres a father-daughter relationship during the height of the AIDS crisis.

What's Fairyland about?

As mentioned, the film will use Alysia Abbott's memoir Fairyland as its source material, after Coppola's production company bought the film rights to the book upon its launch in 2013. It follows a two-year-old Alysia and her father Steve Abbott as they uproot to San Francisco in 1973 after their mum and wife dies in a car accident.

Upon their arrival, Steve comes out as bisexual and dives headfirst into a city in the midst of a creative, cultural and sexual revolution. From a young age Alysia is rubbing shoulders with artists, thinkers and writers, her father encouraging this creative expression in herself. As the world enters the 80s and Alysia her teens, people she grew up around begin to fall sick with AIDS, and while she's studying in New York City then France, Steve contracts the virus himself and Alysia must come home to care for him.

Speaking on her relationship to the book upon snatching up the movie rights, Coppola said, "I love the book Fairyland... I think it will make an engaging and touching movie on a subject I’ve never seen before".

Who else is involved?

Coppola initially began writing the script for Fairyland as a solo project, but soon enlisted the help of director Andrew Durham to co-write it alongside her. As a gay man who lost his own father to AIDS, Durham has a personal connection to Alysia's story, and is onboard as director and now Fairyland's sole writer too. While Sofia Coppola has slipped into the role of producer alongside her brother Roman, instead.

What about the cast?

Already, there's a list of names attached to Fairyland. Emilia Jones, the breakout star of CODA, has been tapped to play Alysia while Scoot McNairy has signed on in the role of her father, Steve. Also involved is icon Geena Davis, Maria Bakalova of Bodies Bodies Bodies fame, Australian actor Cody Fern and Adam Lambert.

Is there a release date?

Although the film is a lot further along than we suspected – filming wrapped recently – an official release date is yet to be announced nor has it been bought by any distributors. Watch this space.


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