Graphic novels aren’t just for collecting superhero story arcs. The literary format also tells devastating and informative stories of real-life trauma. I recommend reading Billie Scott’s impending blindness by Zoe Thorogood if you want a potent dose of reality wrapped in a yarn about bravery, self-exploration, and literal darkness to come. But today we are talking about Tangles, an upcoming animated feature from Monarch Media, Point Gray Pictures, Lylas Pictures and Giant Ant. The collaboration takes place thanks to Sarah Leavitt‘s graphic novel memoir, Tangles: A Story of Alzheimer’s, My Mother, and Me.
Giant Ant’s Leah Nelson directs Tangleswhich has the following synopsis: As Alzheimer’s disease begins to take away her mother’s vivacious personality, a headstrong young woman is forced to return to her strange family in the conservative small town she recently fled to care for her. She soon realizes that she must accept the cruel and twisted reality of the disease—and the imperfect beauty of her family—to become the daughter they need.
I’m a sucker for emotionally wrenching stories and have every intention of reading Leavitt’s book to talk about on my podcast, Talking comics. Cough! Shameless plug, cough! Vicky Patel, Steve Barnett and Alan Powell will produce Tangles via Monarch Media, with Seth Rogen by Point Gray Pictures and Lauren Miller Rogen, courtesy of Lylas Pictures.
“I am beyond happy for the opportunity to make this unique and special film,” Nelson noted. “When I read the graphic novel, I was blown away by Sarah Leavitt’s ability to tell her story with such honesty and bold creativity, and I knew it had to be brought to life on screen. I have been fortunate to work with the teams at Point Gray and Lylas Pictures who have devoted so much time, care and attention to this project and wholeheartedly supported my creative vision.With Monarch Media now backing the project, we have a team of people who are not only committed to world-class storytelling, but to ensure we do justice to this remarkable story.”
“I’m incredibly excited to see this project go into production. Working with Giant Ant, Point Gray and LYLAS Pictures on the adaptation has been such a wonderful, collegial process,” Leavitt said. “I am honored by the careful thought and attention that everyone involved has brought to this story that is so personal to me. I am especially touched by how deeply Leah has understood this story and how closely we have worked together over the years .”
“When we founded Monarch Media two years ago, it was with exactly this kind of project in mind,” Patel added. “To be able to tackle a subject that is so personal to me, to be able to bring this amazing novel to life for others to enjoy and learn from, and to do so with such wonderful partners in Lauren, Seth and Leah, are incredibly fulfilling.”
Tangles will create awareness about Alzheimer’s disease as they share a powerful story of tolerance, sacrifice and the will to hold on to reason while dealing with a harsh reality. Many people involved in the film have been directly affected by Alzheimer’s in one way or another, including Patel, Rogen and Miller Rogen. These commonalities among the group do Tangles a personal project with lots of heart. I know it’s a sad subject, but I can’t wait to see how this movie turns out.