Short story author Ted Chiang and writer-producer Eric Heisserer are teaming up for the first time since their Oscar-winning collaboration, Arrival.
Heisserer is producing the adaptation of Chiang’s 1991 story, Division by Zero, whose rights have been picked up by Luma Features, the longtime visual effects company that is now making a push into development and production.
Henry Dunham, who made his feature debut at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival with the well-received thriller The Standoff at Sparrow Creek, will write the script adapting the original work and direct the project.
Heisserer will produce under his Chronology banner, alongside Luma’s Payam Shohadai, Grady Gamble and Kyle Franke. Chronology’s Carmen Lewis will executive produce. Franke will oversee the production for Luma, which will finance the development and production.
Zero, which originally appeared in Full Spectrum 3 Magazine, tells of what happens when math doesn’t add up anymore, once a professor of mathematics discovers that 1=0. The revelation upends the universal foundation of math and society, and, ultimately, the foundation of her relationship with her husband.
“Ted’s writing resonates with me, compels me to revisit his stories regularly,” noted Heisserer in a statement. “Division by Zero has been among my favorites, but I didn’t see how it could live as an adaptation until Henry and I talked at length about it as mutual fans. I’m so excited to collaborate with Ted again, and to watch Henry’s vision for this emotional story come to life with the creative support of the artists at Luma.”
Luma is a 20-year-old creative studio that began in visual effects, working most recently on such films as The Tomorrow War, King Richard and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings as well as in the live events space. It is now making inroads into its own productions and is currently in post on its first original film, The Silence of Mercy. Made in partnership with The Blast List Productions, the movie is directed by Floria Sigismondi (The Runaways, The Handmaid’s Tale) and stars Annabelle Wallis and Raffey Cassidy.
“Division by Zero is precisely the type of creatively ambitious and deeply poignant film we aspire to make at Luma,” said the company’s head of development, Kyle Franke. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to support the incredible talents of Ted and Eric, a combination that’s already proven to be magic, and a gifted, rising filmmaker like Henry.”
Heisserer is the show creator of Netflix fantasy series, Shadow and Bone, as well as the writer of Netflix’s hit, Bird Box. He earned a best adapted screenplay nomination for Arrival, the sci-fi thriller that was directed by Denis Villeneuve.
Dunham is repped by UTA, Anonymous Content and Stephen Clark of Lichter, Grossman. Chiang is repped by WME and Janklow Nesbit.