Sarah Leavitt’s Alzheimer’s-focused graphic novel is being turned into an animated film

Graphic novels aren’t just for collecting superhero story arcs. The literary format also tells devastating and informative tales of real-life trauma. I recommend reading The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott by Zoe Thorogood if you want a potent dose of reality wrapped in a yarn about bravery, exploration of self, and literal oncoming darkness. However, today we’re talking about Tangles, an upcoming animated feature from Monarch Media, Point Grey Pictures, Lylas Pictures, and Giant Ant. The collaboration is happening thanks to Sarah Leavitt‘s graphic novel memoir, Tangles: A Story About Alzheimer’s, My Mother and Me.

Giant Ant’s Leah Nelson is directing Tangles, which has the following synopsis: When Alzheimer’s disease begins to strip away her mother’s vibrant personality, a headstrong young woman is forced to return to her oddball family in the conservative small town she recently fled in order to care for her. She quickly realizes she must accept the cruel and warped reality of the disease – and the imperfect beauty of her family – in order to become the daughter they need.

I’m a sucker for emotionally-crippling 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 of Point Grey Pictures and Lauren Miller Rogen, courtesy of Lylas Pictures.
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“I’m overjoyed at the opportunity to make this unique and special film,” Nelson remarked. “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 needed to be brought to life on screen. I have been so fortunate to work with the teams at Point Grey and Lylas Pictures who have devoted so much time, care and attention to this project and have 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 ensuring we do justice to this remarkable story.”

“I’m incredibly excited to see this project go into production. Working with Giant Ant, Point Grey and LYLAS Pictures on the adaptation has been such a wonderful, collegial process,” said Leavitt. “I’m honored by the careful thought and attention that everyone involved has brought to this story that’s so personal to me. I’m especially moved by how deeply Leah has come to understand this story, and how closely we’ve worked together over the years.”

“When we founded Monarch Media two years ago, it was exactly with this kind of project in mind,” added Patel. “To be able to address a topic that’s so personal to me, to be able to bring this amazing novel to life so that others can enjoy and learn from it and to do so with such wonderful partners in Lauren, Seth and Leah, is incredibly fulfilling.”

Tangles will raise awareness about Alzheimer’s Disease while sharing a powerful story about tolerance, sacrifice, and determination to cling to sanity while coping 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 make Tangles a personal project with plenty of heart. I know it’s a sad topic, but I can’t wait to see how this film turns out.

Originally published at

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