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Channel 4 on board Ripper trilogy

Jarrold, Marsh, Tucker to helm trio of pics

U.K. pubcaster Channel 4 is prepping a trilogy of films revolving around the hunt for the notorious Yorkshire Ripper serial killer.

The three crime films Revolution Films is producing for Channel 4 are based on three of the four books in British novelist David Peace’s “Red Riding Quartet,” which is set in Yorkshire in the 1970s and early ‘80s. Storylines cover police corruption and perversion of justice in the hunt for the Ripper from 1975 until his detection in 1981, when Peter Sutcliffe was convicted of murdering 13 women. He is serving multiple life sentences.

Three directors, all of whom have previously worked with Film 4 on features, are aboard to helm the project, which is budgeted at $10 million in total. Julian Jarrold (“Becoming Jane”) will direct “Nineteen Seventy Four,” James Marsh (“Man on Wire”) will direct “Nineteen Eighty” and Anand Tucker (“And When Did You Last See Your Father?”) will direct “Nineteen Eighty Three.”

Tony Grisoni, who wrote the screenplay for “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” has adapted the three Peace books. Elements from Peace’s second book — “Nineteen Seventy Seven” — will be woven into the three pics.

The films, commissioned by C4 drama head Liza Marshall, are being made as a TV series, with a U.K. theatrical release likely to follow. Pics will carry the Film 4 banner outside the U.K., where they will be sold for theatrical release.

Wendy Brazington and Anita Overland are producing for Revolution. Revolution’s Andrew Eaton is exec producing. Casting is under way.

A bigscreen version of Peace’s “The Damned United,” about legendary soccer coach Brian Clough, is currently shooting.

BBC Films’ “United” was adapted by Peter Morgan (“The Queen”) and stars Michael Sheen, Jim Broadbent and Timothy Spall.

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