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‘The Barracks Thief:’ Novella From ‘This Boy’s Life’ Author Tobias Wolff To Be Adapted For The Screen By Mindriot’s Jonathan Keasey

EXCLUSIVE: Jonathan Keasey, the scribe behind Danielle Deadwyler’s Parallel and Demi Lovato’s Tow, has signed on to adapt The Barracks Thief, a novella from award-winning author Tobias Wolff.

Keasey joins playwright Tyler Rivenbark on the project. The pair will collaborate on the screenplay based on Wolff’s novella.

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Wolff, an Emeritus professor at Stanford, is best known as a memoirist. Most notably, his 1989 book This Boy’s Life: A Memoir was adapted for the screen by Michael Caton-Jones, with Leonardo DiCaprio starring as the teenage Wolff in his breakout big-screen performance and Robert De Niro as his abusive step-father Dwight.

The Barracks Thief is the story of three young paratroopers waiting to be shipped out to Vietnam. Brought together one sweltering afternoon to stand guard over an ammunition dump threatened by a forest fire, they discover in each other an unexpected capacity for recklessness and violence. Far from being alarmed by this discovery, they are exhilarated by it; they emerge from their common danger full of confidence in their manhood and the bond of friendship they have formed. This confidence is shaken when a series of thefts occur.

Keasey’s transatlantic shingle MindRiot Entertainment will produce the pic.

The Barracks Thief has been one of my favorite novels since I first came across it a decade ago. It speaks to life today in such an astute, powerful, and beautiful way that resonates with anyone who comes across it,” said Rivenbark.

Keasey added: “The subject matter of The Barracks Thief is the perfect fit for myself and Tyler to collaborate on given our roots and the tapestry and tone of the book.”

Alongside The Barracks Thief, MindRiot, which Keasey runs with co-founder Dr. Justin MacGregor and COO Randa Minkarah, has a slew of buzzy projects moving towards production. The company’s slate includes the biopic Four The Yard about professional skateboarder Josh Swindell, Oceangate biopic Salvaged co-produced by E. Brian Dobbins (Black-ish, The Blackening), along with a docuseries in development with NBA legend Gary Payton overseen by MindRiot’s Head of Sports Content, Steven Banks Jr.

Wolff taught at Stanford, where he has served as the Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and the Director of the Creative Writing Program. He is now Professor Emeritus. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama in 2014. Keasey is repped by Circle of Confusion and Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof + Fishman. Rivenbark has been recognized by the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference.

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