Lawrence Hill's bestseller The Book of Negroes is set to make the leap from page to screen.
Toronto filmmakers Clement Virgo and Damon D'Oliveira announced Wednesday that their company, Conquering Lion Pictures, has acquired the film rights to Hill's award-winning novel.
"The scope and passion of Lawrence Hill's runaway bestseller makes it perfect material for an epic screen adaptation," producer D'Oliveira said in a statement.
Virgo, who has helmed such films as Poor Boy's Game and Lie With Me, will both produce and direct the adaptation.
Published in 2007, The Book of Negroes follows the sweeping story of heroine Aminata Diallo, tracking her life as she goes from her African village to being a slave in the southern U.S. and continuing on to Halifax and then London, England.
The novel, which garnered a flood of praise, went on to win the Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Overall Book in 2008. It also won the 2009 edition of Canada Reads.
"I have great faith in Clement's and Damon's abilities to capture the heart and soul of Aminata's story and I wish them well in transforming her life from the page to the big screen," Hill said.