Casting Call: How Starbucks Saved My Life

In which we suggest who would star in the next big adaptation, remake, or historical film.

Michael Gates Gill’s memoir How Starbucks Saved My Life is coming to the big screen. A self-proclaimed son of privilege, Gill recounts a childhood spent traipsing from estate houses, followed by a Yale diploma, and a friend casually handing him his first job at one of the greatest ad agencies in the world, J. Walter Thompson. In a series of flashbacks—balanced with those of in-depth encounters with Ernest Hemingway, Jackie O., Brooke Astor, and the Queen of England—we learn that life wasn’t quite so sweet for Gill at JWT, even as creative vice president. Gill recalls his forlorn children looking up from their unwrapped Christmas gifts as he rushes to meet a Ford client in Detroit. Eventually, he is “let go” for his older age. After 10 subsequent years of dwindling success as a creative consultant and the wreckage of two families, Gill finds himself alone, jobless, saddled with child support, and head in hands at a Starbucks where, unbeknownst to him, a recruiting event is taking place. With something akin to psychic insight, a woman named Crystal asks if he’d like to work at Starbucks. Here begins Michael’s adventure at the Broadway and 93rd Street franchise, which includes an all-too-imaginable encounter with a knife-wielding midnight customer along with all the information we’d ever like to know about espresso. A warning to those looking to fill their daily schadenfreude quota: even if you refuse to believe Gill can find happiness at Starbucks, there’s no denying that he got Tom Hanks to option the film rights to his life story, with Van Sant rumored to direct. We’re jealous, too.


Casting Call runs every Friday. For more, click here.