Director wears producer hat on Intermedia pic

CANNES — Elusive helmer Terrence Malick is planning to produce a new adaptation of Graham Greene’s novel “Brighton Rock” for Intermedia Films.

Project is being scripted by Brit writer Don MacPherson, whose credits include “The Avengers” and Neil LaBute’s upcoming “Possession.”

Malick has made clear that he will not direct the film. He is developing the adaptation with Australian producer Grant Hill, who also worked on 1998’s “The Thin Red Line,” Malick’s last helmer outing.

Mum’s the word

“Brighton Rock” has been in development since last year but has been kept under wraps by Intermedia in deference to Malick’s desire for secrecy. Intermedia is not commenting on the project.

Greene’s novel, previously filmed in 1947 by John Boulting, is the story of Pinky (played in the original by Richard Attenborough), a small-time gang leader in the English seaside town of Brighton, who spins to self-destruction after murdering a rival.

It has not yet been decided whether the new movie will keep the original 1930s setting or be updated to the present.

Blighty player

Pic is tentatively scheduled for a summer 2002 shoot in the U.K. Despite the fact that Intermedia’s focus has shifted toward Hollywood in the past year, project reconfirms the company’s intention to remain a force in British production.

Intermedia is shooting another Greene adaptation, “The Quiet American,” directed by Phillip Noyce. That pic is being produced by two other directors-turned-producers, Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella.

“Thin Red Line” was Malick’s first film since “Days of Heaven” in 1978. It’s thought that his enthusiasm for producing “Brighton Rock” reflects a desire to increase his movie output without always having to take on the chores of directing.

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