Rules of Inheritance: The Movie

I couldn’t be more thrilled, or more humbled, to announce that my book is being turned into a film starring Jennifer Lawrence.

You can read about it in several places online, and I’m going to paste the official press release below.

Screen shot 2013-06-05 at 4.58.47 PM

This project has been over a year in the making so far, with Jennifer first coming on board last February. I have been consistently blown away by the incredible people who have joined the creative team alongside her — screenwriter Abi Morgan, director Susanne Bier, producer Bruce Cohen and the people at Film Nation Entertainment, all of them unbelievably talented and thoughtful individuals whom I have come to know and love, over the last year.

There is so much yet to come, but for now I will just say again that I am incredibly grateful and humbled by all of this. All I ever wanted when I wrote The Rules of Inheritance was the chance to help a person or two, to make someone out there feel a little less alone in their grief process. And now all of this…I couldn’t dream of a better group of people to help me take my message to a wider audience.








Lauded Director Susanne Bier to Helm Abi Morgan’s Script

Based on Claire Bidwell Smith’s Memoir


Los Angeles. TBC – FilmNation Entertainment will finance and handle sales for The Rules of Inheritance which will star Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook, Winter’s Bone, The Hunger Games). Susanne Bier, an Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Film (In a Better World, After the Wedding and the upcoming Serena, starring Lawrence and Bradley Cooper), will direct the screenplay to be written by Abi Morgan (The Iron Lady, Shame). The film is based on Claire Bidwell Smith’s powerful and honest memoir about a young woman who loses her family but finds herself in the process.  Academy Award winning producer Bruce Cohen (Silver Linings Playbook American Beauty, Milk) and Lawrence will produce. FilmNation Entertainment will executive produce.


FilmNation’s Glen Basner and Aaron Ryder said, “We are thrilled to be working with the dream team of Jennifer Lawrence, Susanne Bier, Abi Morgan and Bruce Cohen.  We have no doubt that this inspirational and hopeful book will be turned into an emotionally powerful movie that audiences around the world will fall in love with.”


Producer Bruce Cohen commented, “Jennifer, Susanne, Abi and I are incredibly excited to be working on this extraordinary project together. We all believe this film can strike a deeply resonant chord with audiences, just as Claire’s riveting memoir has.”
Claire Bidwell Smith is an only child who, over a 7-year period as a young adult loses both her parents to cancer.  While struggling to cope, she propels herself into many romances, adventures and travels in an inspirational, emotionally charged and surprisingly humorous journey that celebrates life, the people we love and lose and the discoveries we make along the way.  Smith is represented by Wendy Sherman at Wendy Sherman Associates in association with Creative Artists Agency (CAA). The book is published by Penguin Books.


FilmNation’s EVP, Worldwide Production Allison Silver brought the project into FilmNation, which negotiated its deal with CAA.  CAA will also package the project and represent the film’s domestic distribution rights.





  • Posted June 5, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    This is so fantastic! Congrats, sweets! xoxo

  • Christine Holmes
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    I saw the Variety on-line notice flash by this afternoon. I am so trilled for you. Long time reader of all your blogs!

  • Joanna
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful!!!!!!! So happy for you and so well deserved!! Your book was brave and beautifully written. Your parents must be smiling from heaven.

  • Jen in MN
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    This is fantastic!! I smiled when I read this (-; I adored The Rules of Inheritance; I will be so excited to see it on the big screen when it comes out. Congratulations!!

  • Laura Young
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    As a Mom of a toddler that lost a parent when i was growing up, I loved your book and continue to read your blog. You have helped me so much. I am very happy for you. You deserve all of the blessings coming your way.

  • Liz
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    OMG I am sooooo excited for you!! HUGE HUGE HUGE congrats!! This must feel so surreal to you – talk about dreams coming true! 🙂


  • Aeshna
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    WOWOWOW! Congratulations!
    What better person to play you, Claire! So very happy for you.
    This is the best thing that can happen to a book – to be interpreted in a whole other medium 🙂

  • sara
    Posted June 6, 2013 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    She’ll have to practice that miserable look you always seem to have on your face. You really look so unhappy all of the time. Frankly I don’t understand the fascination with this. A lot of people have lost parents. Not a real novel topic. It’s not like you were an orphan at 6 months old. Sorry, won’t be watching.

  • Ashley
    Posted June 6, 2013 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    I’m so excited for you! Jennifer is from my hometown so I’ve been following her for quite sometime and think she is just amazing. And I absolutely loved your book.
    -Ashley S.
    Louisville, KY

  • Posted June 6, 2013 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Finally! Finally we can anticipate seeing piles and piles of your book heaped on the shelves at Costco, and I can stand there with a huge smile on my face thrusting them at every person passing by & telling them they *must* read this! “It’s about to become a major motion picture, you know” 🙂

    (And yes, you know I *will* be doing this!)

  • Posted June 6, 2013 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Claire, I’m so thrilled for you! I really connected with your book and have recommended it to everyone I know, will be amazing to see it portrayed in film. and yes, I’m with Carroll – can’t wait to see mass printings of your book everywhere!!

  • Brenda
    Posted June 6, 2013 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    You’re an extraordinary young woman, Claire. I thought that when I started reading your blog many years ago, I thought that when I read your incredibly moving book (I asked for it for the first birthday I had to “celebrate” after losing my last living parent) and I think it now when I read your still humble take on this fantastic (and very likely career propelling) news. I wish for you and your sweet family nothing but the best from all this, Claire.

  • Claire
    Posted June 6, 2013 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    This is fantastic news! Love your blog and can’t wait to read your book (and watch the movie!). Congratulations!

    (you have the best name ever)

  • Liz
    Posted June 6, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Bitter much, Sara? Claire is an amazing writer and caring, compassionate person who deserves every bit of this. Go piss on someone else’s parade. 🙂

  • Annie
    Posted June 6, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Claire, I’m so happy for you! I love that this is happening to such an authentic, genuinely kind person. You have quite a gift, so glad you can reach an even wider audience. Yay!!! Wishing continued goodness to you and your beautiful family. Love and congratulations from Boston!!

  • Karen
    Posted June 6, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    How very surreal! Congratulations on this exciting news!

  • Debbie
    Posted June 6, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Such incredibly exciting news!! Congratulations! The book was great and I am so looking forward to the movie! And I am so glad to see you post on your blog. I was wondering where you were! 🙂

  • Posted June 6, 2013 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Damn, Sara seems angry!

    This is awesome!! I’m excited for it!

  • Helene
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Wow! That will teach me for missing a day checking out your latest pictures 🙂

    I stumbled across your blog a few years ago when V was a baby and have stayed since. I loved your apartment in Chicago (and never knew you worked down the street from my job in PR) and now love your house in CA. I watched you write this book, envied your trip to NYC to see your editor (something I still hope to attain or just go see the city), watched it be published, was so excited that I bought the Kindle version when I didn’t see the book on my front step the day it was to arrive. I followed your trip to Australia and now on my bucket list is hold a koala and have champagne under the stars at night at the Sydney Opera House. My parents both were ill all my life, older, and both passed away leaving me an “orphan” by my mid twenties while I watch my peers struggle with aging parents now. I am raising my grandson so I love watching the kiddy pics and thought it was great when you gave Greg the gift of Jules on Father’s Day.:) My bosses are CPA’s and had their first child on April 15th. Not quite the same but…
    But THIS! Wow. I absolutely loved her in Silver Linings Playbook and am jumping up and down at now watching your book become a movie. And you can be sure I will be first in line.


  • Melissa
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    How incredible!!! I adore your writing, and following the happenings of you and your adorable family. Congrats!!! Cannot wait to see the film.

  • Joanna
    Posted June 9, 2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Am super interested to know if anyone else has been cast yet. If so, who will be playing your parents? Can’t wait to see the finished product!!!

  • Eloise Connelly
    Posted June 10, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations Claire it will make a wonderful movie and I am so excited for you and cannot wait to see it.
    Eloise x

  • Posted June 11, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Claire! I’m so happy for you! I can’t wait to tell everyone that this book I’ve been recommending is going to be made into a movie. 🙂

  • Posted June 13, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Claire, you gave the universe a gift… and look what came back! Thank you AGAIN for the Rules of Inheritance. And congratulations on what you manifested your own self, you brave beautiful rock star.

  • Rachel
    Posted June 13, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Claire ~ that is great news 🙂 I was quite happy to see that just now. I think this is a good thing for people, especially young people, teens in particular, to see – dealing with grief as a teen can be very very complex as they have so many other issues to deal with already.
    Jennifer Lawrence is a beautiful young actress and I think that’s fantastic she will be in the role.

    As for sara’s comment on June 6, 2013 at 7:55am ~~ Yes a lot of people have lost parents, but for some its a rollercoaster ride of emotions and some people need some reassurance that there is no “standard” way of dealing with it. (I think that being orphaned at 6 months old is completely different to losing parents when you are older – I dont think there is a way to compare them, as in neither are worse than the other and there would be different levels of emotion involved)

    Just for the record, there is nothing “miserable” about Claire’s facial expressions ~ if you see this, you are reading her all wrong.

  • Rebecca
    Posted June 17, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    I had never heard of you before last week. I came across your book at the library, and picked it up because it was about losing someone to cancer. My younger brother died of cancer just over a year ago, when he was 28. I am so glad I picked up your book! It was beautiful. It made me cry, and so often it just made me nod my head and think, yes, she gets it! Thank you!
    You spoke at the end of your book about how there must be a higher power, and it felt like to me that, at least at the end of the book, you were still searching for answers about this higher power. There IS a higher power – the God who made heaven and earth, and who created all of us. The miracle of your daughters’ births – God’s hand is there too. My brother died a believer in God, and in God’s Son Jesus Christ. And I know – without a doubt – that my brother is now in heaven with God. And I can’t tell you how much comfort that has brought to me and my family since he’s been gone. We WILL see him again one day! Are you a believer? I hope so, and if not, I hope that one day you will come to know the true God. With Him, death is not final at all – it’s starting eternity with God.
    I look forward to seeing your book in movie format.
    I will be recommending your book to others!
    God bless you!

  • Michelle
    Posted August 13, 2013 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Hi Claire, I am just having a chance to have a breather in my own life whem I realised I haven’t connected with your blog in months. I was blown away to just read about the movie – huge congratulations! I can only imagine how excited you are to share your story so widely…your book certainly touched me in so many ways. Best wishes. Michelle x

  • Sarah
    Posted September 14, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    This is so awesome. I just came back to your blog after a hiatus. Congratulations

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