Brit polymath Stephen Fry will write and direct an adaptation of his novel “The Stars’ Tennis Balls” for Michael Winterbottom and Andrew Eaton’s Revolution Films.
The project will be developed under Revolution’s first-look deal with United Artists. This relationship has just been renewed for two more years.
Fry arrived in Cannes on Friday to unveil a 20-minute promo of his directorial debut “Bright Young Things,” an adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s classic social satire “Vile Bodies.” Pic was also produced by Revolution.
“The Stars’ Tennis Balls” (title is a quote from John Webster’s Jacobean tragedy “The Duchess of Malfi,” referring to the cruel whims of fate) is described by Fry as a contemporary re-working of “The Count of Monte Cristo.”
It’s the story of a schoolboy with a glittering future who gets wrongfully imprisoned through the machinations of a jealous classmate. When he’s escapes 10 years later, he dedicates himself to revenge.
Gina Carter, who produced “Bright Young Things,” will repeat the role on “Tennis Balls.” The U.K. Film Council is providing development coin for the project alongside UA.
Revolution has made two movies for UA — Winterbottom’s “24 Hour Party People” and his upcoming “Code 46” — since signing a first-look deal with the studio three years ago.
However, UA passed at script stage on Winterbottom’s “In This World,” which won the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlin fest, and on “Bright Young Things,” which is still available for North America.