Helmer inspired by Muse

Stiles would take on role as an NYU student/prostitute

Mike Figgis and Steve Shainberg headline a new slate of pics being put together by Chris and Roberta Hanley’s Muse Prods.

Figgis will direct an adaptation of Jennifer Belle’s novel “Going Down,” which Julia Stiles is in negotiations to star in and produce for Roberta and Chris Hanley’s Muse Prods.

Pic marks a departure for Stiles, who would play an unshockable drama student at NYU who, finding she’s short of cash, decides to pay her way by finding a madam and becoming a prostitute. Figgis penned the adaptation with Roberta Hanley and Karen Nichols. Figgis’ production partner, Annie Stewart, is co-producing with Hamish McAlpine’s Metro Tartan. Jane Berliner will exec produce. Pic is expected to go into production in late fall.

Shingle also is developing an adaptation of A.M. Homes’ “Music for Torching,” a suburban relationship drama about disenchantment and disillusionment with tragic consequences. “Secretary” helmer Steve Shainberg will direct. Pic is being penned by Buck Henry; Muse is producing with Bradford L Schlei.

Also on their slate is an adaptation of “Becoming Madame Mao,” based on the novel by Anchee Min. Muse will produce with Molly Hassell, who is penning the screenplay based on the life of the wife of Mao Zhedong.

Other pics include a feature based on the true story of Countess Bathory, written and to be directed by Julie Delpy. She’ll star in the true tale of the countess, one of the world’s first known serial killers, who believed her beauty was enhanced by bathing in the blood of female virgins. The Hanleys are in discussions with Ethan Hawke and Tilda Swinton to play supporting roles.

Muse is developing an adaptation of “Leopard in the Sun,” Laura Restrepo’s contemporary novel above life in her native Colombia. It details a vicious war between two families made wealthy by crime and clandestine business. Fernando Leon de Aranoa, who wrote “Mondays in the Sun,” will write and is expected to direct.

Shingle also has acquired rights to Brazilian author Paulo Coelho’s novel “Veronica Decides to Die,” a romantic and ultimately uplifting tale set in a mental institution about a woman who decides to kill herself when faced with all that is wrong with the world but survives to wrestle with the meaning of mental illness. Chris and Roberta Hanley will produce.

Shingle is producing the previously announced adaptation of Martin Amis’ “London Fields,” which David Cronenberg will direct, in partnership with UGC.

“We are creating a financial relationship beyond our collaboration on ‘London Fields’ with Fernando Sulichin and Jean Cazes to be able to accomplish financing for our pictures in a higher budget range,” Roberta Hanley said. “We want to get away from pics budgeted around $2 million-$3 million and focus on pics in the $10 million-$15 million range as the material we’re optioning now has a larger audience.”

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