The best-selling novel 'The Alchemist' is to be brought to the big screen, it was announced today.
The Weinstein Company confirmed at the Cannes Film Festival that Harvey Weinstein will produce Paulo Coelho's international best-selling novel and that the company will hold exclusive world-wide motion picture and television rights for the film.
'The Alchemist' is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found.
From his home in Spain, he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist.
Since its debut in Brazil in 1988, 'The Alchemist' has sold more than 30 million copies, reaching first place on best-seller lists in 18 countries.
Laurence Fishburne will be the star, director and producer of the project, along with his producing partner Helen Sugland and their production company Cinema Gypsy.
Fishburne said: "This is a special project that now has a special team behind it to ensure that its path to the big screen is handled with the proper care it deserves.
"I am looking forward to directing it, acting in it, and collaborating with Harvey Weinstein to produce a beautiful film that will do justice to Paulo's enormously successful novel."
The Weinstein Company said it is in negotiations with an Academy Award-winning screenwriter to adapt the novel into a screenplay, which will be announced shortly.
Production teams from past Weinstein-produced films, such as 'Gangs of New York', 'Cold Mountain', 'The English Patient', and 'The Aviator', will be brought on board to work on the film.
Various locations in Europe, as well as the Middle East, including Jordan, Abu Dhabi and Northern Africa will serve as backdrops for the global shoot.
Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company said: "Personally producing a project is rare for me, but bringing The Alchemist to the screen has been my dream.
"It is a spiritual and moving story and I am thrilled to be working side by side with Laurence.
"The pieces are now in place to jump start this project and we are eager to get going."