Helmer makes ‘Moral’ choice

Noyce has 'Hazard' in front of him

Phillip Noyce will direct “Moral Hazard,” an adaptation of a Kate Jennings novel that his Rumbalara Films will produce with Spitfire Pictures partners Guy East and Nigel Sinclair. The pic is being scripted by John Romano, whose script work includes “Intolerable Cruelty” and an adaptation of “American Pastoral.”

The book is an autobiographical tale of a liberal poet and travel writer who marries an older man, and then is forced to take a lucrative yet cutthroat job on Wall Street when her husband falls seriously ill. Noyce, who most recently directed “The Quiet American” and “Rabbit-Proof Fence,” sparked to the book after picking it up at an airport while scouting for another film.

“It was serendipitous in that I realized that not only was the author from my hometown, her brother was a good friend of mine and I’d actually met her,” Noyce said. “It was perfect material for me because the protagonist is an expatriate from Australia. She is a woman I recognize, who waits to get married to a man who is older than her but opens up her world.” Noyce said. “It’s also a story of her growth. Big business is anathema to her, and she copes with the madness of Wall Street in the ’90s as an act of love.”

Noyce brought the material to East and Sinclair, who are nearing the finish line on “No Direction Home: Bob Dylan,” the docu directed by Martin Scorsese and slated to air on PBS in September.

Noyce is also planning to direct the Australia love story “Dirt Music” based on the Tim Winton novel. He is producing with Jeremy Thomas “Year of Wonders,” an Australian-U.K. co-production that was written and will be directed by Pip Karmel. It’s the story of an English village whose inhabitants vowed to quarantine themselves in their village when the plague came in 1665.

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