Millbrook options rights to thriller
German helmer Oliver Hirschbiegel (“Downfall”) is set to direct “The Dark Side of the Moon,” a thriller based on Swiss author Martin Suter’s bestseller, from a screenplay by David Marconi (“Live Free or Die Hard”).Millbrook Pictures, the Zurich-based film finance and production shingle headed by Thomas Sterchi and Karl Spoerri, has optioned the rights to the book and is looking to produce with international partners. Principal photography is slated to begin in spring in Switzerland, Germany and France. Casting is being finalized. Spoerri, who is also director of the Zurich Film Festival, is producing “The Dark Side of the Moon” with Sterchi as executive producer. The novel, which has been translated into eight languages, centers on a successful attorney whose life is turned upside down after a mind-opening mushroom trip. Hirschbiegel also helmed 2007’s “The Invasion,” with Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, and last year’s Northern Ireland drama “Five Minutes of Heaven,” starring Liam Neeson and James Nesbitt. Millbrook has been increasingly active domestically and internationally since its first production, Oliver Stone’s 2008 George Bush biopic “W.” It is co-producing and financing David Cronenberg’s psychological drama “A Dangerous Method,” starring Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen and Michael Fassbender. Earlier this year the company also inked a first-look deal with Marc Forster’s Apparatus Prods. to develop, finance and produce features, with an emphasis on emerging writers and directors.