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Jewish Journal

‘A Contract With God’ heads to silver screen

by Adam Wills

July 24, 2010 | 10:16 pm

Will Eisner‘s “A Contract With God, And Other Tenement Stories,” released in 1978, is considered one of the first graphic novels ... and an intensely Jewish one to boot. During the Eisner Awards ceremony at Comic-Con on Friday night, Denis Kitchen announced Eisner’s influential work will be adapted into a live-action feature film.

“A Contract With God” explored stories and memories from Eisner’s childhood growing up in a New York City tenement, with each tale capturing the brutality, fragility and tenderness among people living in a New York City tenement in the 1930s. In the film version, four directors will take on the graphic novel’s separate but related stories: “A Contract With God” (Alex Rivera), “The Street Singer” (Tze Chun), “The Super” (Barry Jenkins) and “Cookalien,” (Sean Baker).

Writer-producer Darren Dean said he looks “forward to finding the fine balance of offering Eisner fans a very faithful interpretation of his work and allowing the voices of these strong and competent filmmakers to be heard. We are all approaching the inaugural stage of this project with respect, honor and anticipation and hope that the fans will welcome us with both faith and scrutiny. This is for them, as much as any of us.”

Principle photography will begin in 2011.

The film adaptation will be produced under the auspices of the Eisner estate. Bob Schreck, a 30-year veteran of the comic book industry, and Michael Ruggiero, former head of original programming at STARZ, will serve as co-executive producers.

“Getting to know Will Eisner was one of the great honors of both my personal and professional journeys,” Schreck said. “We are all well aware that the work ahead has a very high bar of excellence to aspire to set by Mr. Eisner’s pioneering achievements in storytelling.”

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