Aussie helmer helps out the Mouse House
Australian-born director Gregor Jordan has signed on to rewrite and direct the adaptation of John Christopher’s “The Tripods Trilogy” for Walt Disney’s Touchstone Pictures label.Disney picked up the feature rights to Christopher’s sci-fi book series in 1997 for producer Don Murphy, with an eye toward the project’s franchise possibilities. In 2000, Darren Lemke came on board to adapt the trilogy, and subsequently, Terry Hayes, before Jordan inked to pen a rewrite and direct. Project marks the first major studio pic for ICM-repped Jordan after directing critically acclaimed indie “Buffalo Soldiers” for Miramax and Good Machine Intl. and then “Ned Kelly,” distribbed by Focus Features. The three books in the Christopher trilogy — “The White Mountains,” “The City of Gold and Lead” and “The Pool of Fire” — feature a “Star Wars”-like storyline set in the 21st century. They’ve been favorites among schoolkids since “The White Mountains” was first published in 1967. In the books, Tripods have conquered Earth and enslaved the human race by implanting a mind-controlling device in the heads of everyone over 15. The books tell the story of a boy and two of his friends who race to overthrow the Tripods before they must undergo the capping ritual. “The Tripods Trilogy” was previously adapted by the BBC as a TV series, beginning in 1984.