According to Variety, the best-selling book, Freakonomics, is being adapted into a documentary that will begin shooting in January for release next summer.
POV alums Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing (Boys of Baraka, POV 2006), Laura Poitras (My Country, My Country, POV 2006), and noted filmmakers Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me), Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room), Eugene Jarecki (Why We Fight) and Jehane Noujaim (Control Room) have signed on to direct segments based on chapters in the book. The film will be produced by Chad Troutwine (Paris je t’aime) and Seth Gordon (The King of Kong).
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything hit bookstores in May of 2005. The book set out to “show that economics is, at root, the study of incentiveshow people get what they want, or need, especially when other people need, or want, the same thing.” Authors Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner explore the hidden side of economics, with each chapter looking at stories as disparate as the inner workings of a crack gang, the secrets of the Ku Klux Klan and the myths of campaign finance, to reveal the underlying economic principles in action.
The omnibus documentary project will involve each filmmaker or filmmaker team taking on a chapter and creating a 15-minute short, which will be edited together into a feature film. According to IGN.com:
Gibney has signed up to helm the section on cheating teachers and Sumo wrestlers, while Jarecki will cover the attribution of America’s drop in crime to legal ruling Roe vs. Wade. The other directors are currently finalising (sic) their topics.
Freakonomics made the New York Times‘ 100 notable books of the year list in 2005 and ended up under many people’s Christmas trees that year (including mine, and I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t cracked it yet. I will now!) The book has sold over 3 million copies worldwide and inspired a blog on the New York Times website.
According to the Freakonomics blog, filmmakers Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing are looking for fans of the book to share their stories. Are you a freak for Freakonomics?