Ridley Scott to Adapt Israeli Author's 'Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind' Into a Movie

Ridley Scott and Asif Kapadia to take Yuval Noah Harari's best-seller to the silver screen ■ Book on history of mankind sold 8 million copies, its readers include Mark Zuckerberg and Barack Obama

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Israeli historian and author Yuval Noah Harari.
Israeli historian and author Yuval Noah Harari.Credit: Rami Zarnegar

Director Ridley Scott (“Blade Runner,” “Alien”) and Oscar winning-documentarian Asif Kapadia (“Amy”) will adapt Yuval Noah Harari’s nonfiction best-seller “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” into a movie, according to the Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday.

Scott, who will produce the adaptation and Kapadia, who will direct it, bought the rights to the book in 2017. The book, published in Hebrew by Dvir in 2011, spans the history of the human species from the time it developed the ability to speak 70,000 years ago to this day, seeking to explain how Homo sapiens came to dominate the earth.

>> Judaism is not a major player in the history of humankind, writes Yuval Noah Harari

The book has been translated into some 30 languages and sold some 8 million copies worldwide. Its readers include Barack Obama, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.

“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,” Kapedia told the Hollywood Reporter.

“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, a history professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, told the Hollywood Reporter.

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