Reel World Management has announced that it will be producing a feature adaptation of the 1975 David Morell novel Testament. Morell is likely best known for his debut work First Blood, which spawned the character of Rambo and the Sylvester Stallone series that followed. Testament isn’t quite the same thing, but does focus on a family living in the wilderness as people are hunting them.
Reel World executive Roma Roth told Deadline, “I’ve been waiting for the underlying rights for Testament to become available for close to 20 years. I’ve never come across another book that stayed with me in quite the same way. It grabs you from the first page and never lets you go.” Morrell then added, “I am thrilled to be working with Reel World Management and Roma Roth, a dedicated and talented filmmaker who shares both my passion and vision for the novel.”
Roth and fellow executive Christopher E. Perry have brought on Ian Jeffers to adapt the screenplay for this film. Jeffers is best known for his work on both the novella and screenplay for The Grey, a Liam Neeson film about a man surviving in the wilderness. There’s certainly a theme running here.
It’s surprising that more features from Morrell’s work haven’t been adapted over the years. With the success that Rambo has seen -even resulting in that terrible sequel last year-, you’d think Hollywood would be all over getting the rights to his novels. I guess 45 years later is better than never.