Real-life volcano mirrors spec story

Nicholas Kendall will direct the romantic comedy “Island Games,” which is set on a volcanic island that rises from the deep once every few centuries.

Pic has a prescient precedent: On Nov. 26, there were reports that a volcanic island submerged off the coast of Sicily for 170 years could soon reappear if Italy’s Mt. Etna didn’t cease its seismic rumblings. When the island last emerged in 1831, the U.K., Spain and Sicily served territorial claims.

Written by Brendan Foley, “Island Games” centers on an ownership battle that ensues between an upper-crust British journalist and a feisty Sicilian fisherwoman when the rock resurfaces. Script was a semifinalist for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ 2001 Nicholl Fellowship.

Coincidence compounded Dec. 2, when London’s Daily Telegraph published an article by a writer who described his attempt to fly the Union Jack on the still-wet island to the outrage of local Sicilians.

“We got a call from one agent asking who our publicist was,” said Affinity Films’ Ira Besserman, who produces with Mark Hammond and Ira Trattner.

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