Wharton Queries: The Old Maid as a film?

I’m sitting in quarantine as we all go through this global pandemic together, it is surreal tines, but has afforded me the time to read. I had the great pleasure of reading Edith Wharton’s novella “The Old Maid” from her ‘Old New York’. I was completely drawn into the dynamic between the cousins and the struggles of maternal sacrifice. I am interested in writing a film adaptation of the story, and since it entered the public domain this year, it looks like that is something I can proceed with, can you confirm this for me and/or point me in the right direction for further information?
Thank you,
Christen Carter

Email: christen_carter@yahoo.com


Although the novella is in the public domain as of this year, the 1939 Warner Brothers film adaptation starring Bette Davis and Miriam Hopkins isn’t.  Even though you’d be writing your own film adaptation, I’m guessing that there are probably rights issues involving Warner Brothers that would need to be investigated first. The Watkins/Loomis Agency (see the FAQ page) might be able to help.

–Donna Campbell