Industry News: Ridley Scott, Handmaid’s Tale, Jessica Alba and More!

RIDLEY SCOTT, ASIF KAPADIA TO ADAPT SAPIENS: Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Alien) and the Oscar-winning documentarian Asif Kapadia (Amy, Senna) are set to adapt the best-seller Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Israeli professor Yuval Noah Harari. The book essentially charts human beings from prehistory to the present and how they came to dominate the planet. Scott will produce and Kapadia will direct. The format is still being worked out, per The Hollywood Reporter, but a multiplatform event experience is planned. Said Kapadia in a statement, “It is a book that changes how you see the world and our adaptation should do the same, to serve as a wake-up call for who we are, where we have come from and where we are heading.” Added Scott, “For years Asif and I have been looking for a project to collaborate on,” and Sapiens “has all the elements to be massively entertaining as well as historically important.”

HANDMAID’S TALE AUTHOR SAYS PLOT BASED ON REAL EVENTS: Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale just unleashed its fiery finale, and now the book’s author Margaret Atwood is saying that many of the events are based on actual real-life happenings. “I didn’t make them up,” she says in a new trailer for Masterclass. (She is the latest of many celebrated creators, including David Mamet and Aaron Sorkin, to offer writing classes to the company). “When I wrote The Handmaid’s Tale,” Atwood says in the promo, “nothing went into it that had not happened in real life somewhere at some time. The reason I made that rule is that I didn’t want anybody saying, ‘You certainly have an evil imagination, you made up all these bad things.’”

GARY OLDMAN AND JESSICA ALBA TO STAR IN KILLERS ANONYMOUS: Gary Oldman and Jessica Alba are set to star in Goldfinch StudiosMartin Owen-helmed thriller Killers Anonymous. The Darkest Hour star and Sin City actress are toplining the film, which just began filming in London. Killers will depict what is really happening behind the day-to-day superficialities we all breeze mindlessly through.

LEGALLY BLONDE WRITER TACKLES SMOOTH CRIMINALS: Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith and her team are launching a comicbook series about criminal masterminds. Smooth Criminals will follow the hijinks of a contemporary hacker who discovers a cryogenically frozen thief who hasn’t surfaced since the 1960s. Smith penned Legally Blonde and 10 Things I Hate About You. The first issue of the series will be published through the Boom!’s Boom! Box imprint in November.

FACEBOOK WATCH BRINGS IN NEW SLATE OF SHOWS FROM BUZZFEED, BLOOMBERG, MORE: Shows from Bloomberg, BuzzFeed and NowThis will be broadcast via Facebook Watch, in a section dedicated to news. The new focus on news is part of Facebook’s push to provide reliable information and drown out fake news. Will you ever feel comfortable turning to Facebook Watch for news?