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Boyle unleashes ‘Tower’ power

Thriller to be set in Johannesburg skyscraper

LONDON — Danny Boyle will helm “Ponte Tower,” a thriller set entirely in one of Africa’s tallest skyscrapers.

The 54-story cylindrical Ponte Tower in Johannesburg, South Africa, was a powerful symbol of white affluence under Apartheid when it was built in 1975. Local papers even dubbed it “heaven on earth.” But the urban landmark became a wind-ravaged hellhole infected by gangs.

Michael Thomas (“Scandal,” “Backbeat”) is writing the script, loosely based on a book by German novelist Norman Ohler, about a girl from Soweto who moves to the tower at the end of Apartheid and comes under the control of a charming drug lord.

The project has coin from the U.K. Film Council’s Development Fund and is planned as a co-production with South Africa.

Gina Carter, co-producer on “24-Hour Party People” and a producer on “Bright Young Things” and “Snowcake,” produces alongside neophyte producer Frank Kunster.

Boyle, Thomas and Carter will develop the project in South Africa with on-the-ground assistance from Moonlighting Films in Johannesburg.

Boyle has directed successful big-screen lit adaptations, including Irvine Welsh’s “Trainspotting” and Alex Garland’s “The Beach.” His latest pic is Fox’s Searchlight’s sci-fi thriller “Sunshine.”

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