Friday, June 26, 2020

Detroit writer's memoir 'The World According to Fannie Davis' to be adapted for feature film

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2020 at 1:38 PM

click to enlarge Bridgett M. Davis. - NINA SUBIN
  • Nina Subin
  • Bridgett M. Davis.
A true-life Detroit story about race, family, defiance, and an underground numbers racket will be heading to the big screen.

The film rights to Bridgett M. Davis' celebrated 2019 memoir, The World According to Fannie Davis: My Mother's Life in the Detroit Numbers, have been acquired by Searchlight Pictures, the Disney-owned arthouse studio, and Brad Pitt's production company, Plan B Entertainment, (Moonlight, 12 Years a Slave) according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The memoir, which was designated a New York Times editors pick when it was released last year, explores Davis' childhood and her mother Fannie's big secret. Fannie — “part bookie, part banker,” and the granddaughter of slaves — ran an underground lottery business, or “the numbers,” out of their home in Detroit during the 1960s and '70s as a means to provide a better life for her family. Fannie's hustle started with just $100 as a loan from her brother after she and her husband and three oldest children migrated to Detroit in the '50s and struggled to hold down work in the auto industry due to discriminatory practices.

“It was my normal,” Davis told NPR of her upbringing. “And, in fact, I found great comfort in the sort of recitation of numbers that she would actually basically be saying over the telephone as she took her customers' bets. I liked the sound of it.”

Davis, a former journalist and current professor of creative writing at Baruch College in New York, will be writing the script with help from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage.

You can read an excerpt from the book here.

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