Harvey Weinstein announced this morning that he’ll produce a $60 million adaptation of Paulo Coelho‘s The Alchemist, the worldwide best-seller (over 30 million copies) which was first published in 1988. Laurence Fishburne will direct, star and also produce.

Harvey Weinstein during this morning’s announcement at the Majestic Beach.

Fishburne has produced several films (Five Fingers, Akeelah and the Bee, The Beltway) but directed only one — Once in the Life, which came out in 2000.
The Weinstein Co. is “currently in negotiations with an Academy Award-winning screenwriter to adapt the novel into a screenplay,” the press release says. Harvey said on the mike that he’s read all the previous screenplay adaptations and “hated them.” This viewpoint, he said, gives him creative cred as it indicates high standards. He envisions The Alchemist movie as a “simple, spiritual tale” that won’t be lathered up in typical Hollywood style.