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Rupert Wyatt preps trio of features

Director to adapt 'Mara,' 'Darkness'

“The Escapist” helmer Rupert Wyatt has set his next three directing vehicles.

He will write and direct an untitled drama for Paramount Vantage, based on the Samuel Logan book “This Is for the Mara Salvatrucha.” Book is the story of Brenda Paz, a teenaged ex-member of the MS-13 gang who was killed by her comrades after she became an informant for the FBI. Lorenzo di Bonaventura will produce.

The film is being put together with the cooperation of Greg Hunter, the court-appointed guardian of the girl, who became her defense attorney and close friend. Deal for book was brokered by Hotchkiss and Associates.

Wyatt has also just made a deal at Warner Bros. to direct “Slipping Into Darkness,” an adaptation of the Peter Blauner novel to be scripted by “Brotherhood” creator Blake Masters. Basil Iwanyk will produce.

It’s a cat-and-mouse thriller about a cop who, 20 years after sending a teenager to jail for life, watches him freed on a technicality. Both of those projects will percolate while Wyatt next directs “The Trail,” a drama he scripted with “The Escapist” co-writer Daniel Hardy.

Story follows two soldiers on a base in New Mexico who are led by a Native American woman up a trail to find her brother, who has been badly hurt in mysterious circumstances.

Pic is financed by Vertigo (the U.K. distributor of “The Escapist,” whose James Richardson will produce with Ben Freedman, Wyatt’s Picture Farm partner. It will shoot in September in New Mexico.

Think Film will distribute “The Escapist,” which debuted at Sundance.

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