‘How Starbucks Saved My Life’ Given a Second Chance By Weinsteins

Once upon a time, Michael Gates Gill’s memoir, “How Starbucks Saved My Life,” was optioned by Universal to become a film that would be directed by Gus Van Sant and would star Tom Hanks. Chances are, that would have been awesome. It didn’t end up happening though, so get it out of your head now. It’s done.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that Deadline has gotten word that The Weinstein Company has just swooped in and gobbled up the rights to the book, which will likely give it a second shot at becoming a film.

For those of you not familiar with Gill’s story, you’re probably wondering how exactly Starbucks (yes, we’re talking about the coffee chain here) could have saved someone’s life. It certainly wasn’t through the quality of their over-roasted beans—am I right, hipsters? Ahem. Anyway, “How Starbucks Saved My Life” makes more sense if you hear its full title, “How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else.” It’s Gill’s account of how falling on hard times and actually having to get a job and work for a living gave him a new perspective and generally saved him from a life of behaving like an entitled goon. Suddenly he has to answer to someone who is younger than him, has darker skin, and is equipped with lady parts, he has to actually do manual labor in order to receive a paycheck, and once he gets said check he has to put real thought into how to make his meager wages sustain his life.

It’s the sort of situation that’s bound to teach someone how to be humble, how to respect others, and what’s actually important in life. Kind of like when those tough street kids got straightened up by going off to camp and getting taught how to be nature activists by that guy, Ernest. What was that movie called? Star Wars?

Will Bill O’Reilly’s “not a traditional America” be able to find it in their hearts to feel sympathy for a white male who had to work for a couple of years but then got a book deal and a movie option? It’s hard to say, but it looks like How Starbucks Saved My Life is going to try and find out. Sounds like kind of a tough sell. Probably the next step for the Weinsteins is going to be seeing if they can get Hanks back on board to star. Everybody likes him.

Weaned on the genre films of the 80s. Reared by the independent movement of the 90s. Earned a BA for writing stuff in the 00s. Reviews current releases at

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