‘Sapiens,’ an Israeli professor’s best-selling history of humans, will be turned into a Ridley Scott film


(JTA) — “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind,” the best-selling book by Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari, will be adapted into a movie.

Directors Ridley Scott, known for blockbusters such as “Alien” and “Blade Runner,” and Asif Kapadia, known for the Amy Winehouse documentary “Amy,” will helm the project, The Hollywood Reporter announced Wednesday.

The nonfiction book charts the course of the development of humans from the prehistoric era to modernity. It originally was published in Hebrew as a textbook for Harari’s students at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

The Hollywood Reporter did not say whether the film would be a documentary, fiction or a mixture of both, reporting only that “the exact format for the adaptation is being kept open-ended right now.”

“It is a book that changes how you see the world and our adaptation should do the same, to serve as a wake-up call for who we are, where we have come from and where we are heading,” Kapadia said in a statement.

“We hope to mix science, fiction, history, drama and genius in order to bring to life the incredible journey of our species, that began as an insignificant animal and is now on the verge of becoming a god,” Harari said.

Sapiens has sold 8 million copies worldwide in 30 languages since its publication in 2011.

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