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Middle-Class Memoir ‘The World According To Fannie Davis’ To Be Adapted By Searchlight Pictures

In the aftermath of its historical acquisition of Fox, Disney continues to build and diversify its roster of upcoming projects. Aside from the MCU, Star Wars sagas, and even all of the live action remakes on the docket, the company has also expressed interest in developing smaller, more substantial films.

According to an exclusive report by THR, Disney has acquired the rights to Bridgett M. Davis’ memoir, The World According To Fannie Davis: My Mother’s Life in the Detroit Numbers, and has plans to adapt it into a feature length film to be distributed by its indie/arthouse studio Searchlight Pictures.

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The synopsis of the memoir is as follows:

In 1958, the very same year that an unknown songwriter named Berry Gordy borrowed $800 to found Motown Records, a pretty young mother from Nashville, Tennessee, borrowed $100 from her brother to run a numbers racket out of her home. That woman was Fannie Davis, Bridgett M. Davis’s mother.

Part bookie, part banker, mother, wife, and granddaughter of slaves, Fannie ran her numbers business for thirty-four years, doing what it took to survive in a legitimate business that just happened to be illegal. She created a loving, joyful home, sent her children to the best schools, bought them the best clothes, mothered them to the highest standard, and when the tragedy of urban life struck, soldiered on with her stated belief: “Dying is easy. Living takes guts.”

A daughter’s moving homage to an extraordinary parent, The World According to Fannie Davis is also the suspenseful, unforgettable story about the lengths to which a mother will go to “make a way out of no way” and provide a prosperous life for her family — and how those sacrifices resonate over time.

For a story set nearly six decades ago, many of its themes seem just as relevant today.

Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment will produce. Having previously backed some of the most important Oscar winning films about race from the past decade such as 12 Years A Slave, Selma, and Moonlight the project is, without a doubt, in good hands. 

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