EXCLUSIVE: Bradford L. Schlei’s Stone Canyon Entertainment (Who Are The Marcuses?, The Trust) has acquired Daniel Gordis’ prize-winning nonfiction book Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn, to adapt into a television docuseries. Director Matthew Mishory (Artur Schnabel: No Place of Exile) will serve as creator and direct all six episodes. Production is expected to begin in 2022.
Winner of the 2016 National Jewish Book Award, A Concise History of a Nation Reborn is described as “the first comprehensive yet accessible history of the state of Israel from its inception to present day.” In the book, Gordis relays the drama of the Jewish people’s story and the creation of the state, illustrating how Israel became a cultural, economic and military powerhouse—but also explains where Israel made grave mistakes.
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The producers will film additional material for the series’ final episode to cover the period since the book’s publication, including: the Abraham Accords; shifting alliances in the Middle East; Israel’s new and highly-symbolic diverse governing coalition; and the ascendence of the Israeli green economy.
Stone Canyon’s Schlei (Swingers, Sling Blade, Spun) and Rob Levine will executive produce. Gordis will be creatively involved in the development of the series.
“We’re honored to have the opportunity to adapt Daniel’s essential and critically-acclaimed work for the screen,” said Schlei. “And I am thrilled to be partnering again with Matthew to tell another story of Israel’s complex, fascinating, and ultimately uplifting history.”
Mishory adds, “While rife with conflict and setbacks, Israel’s transformation from the poor, food-rationing young country of my father and grandparents to the high-tech, biomedical, and ecological powerhouse of today is a story that will transfix and inspire the world.”
Gordis is Senior Vice President and Koret Distinguished Fellow at Shalem College. The author of 12 books, Gordis is a regular columnist for Bloomberg Opinion and host of the Israel from the Inside podcast and Substack.
Mishory and Stone Canyon recently completed principal photography in Israel and the U.S. on the documentary feature, Who Are The Marcuses?, about a mysterious couple whose half-billion-dollar gift imagines regional conflict resolution in Israel and peace through water. The film features Warren Buffett, Israeli President Isaac Herzog, Gordis, best-selling philosopher Micah Goodman, Randol Schoenberg, and others.
Stone Canyon and Mishory were repped in the deal by Matt Ochacher of New Wave Entertainment. Gordis is repped by Richard Pine of InkWell Management, New York.