Kidnap project inherited from Bernd Eichinger

Sherry Hormann is set to direct the harrowing story of Austrian kidnap victim Natascha Kampusch, a project inherited from the late Bernd Eichinger.

Constantin Film, which is producing the $10 million pic, is looking for a writer to finish the screenplay that Eichinger was working on when he died of a heart attack in January.

The 24-year-old Kampusch was abducted in 1998 at the age of 10 while she was walking to school. She was held captive in Vienna for more than eight years in a windowless underground cell. In 2006, she managed to flee her captor, Wolfgang Priklopil, who killed himself soon after her escape by leaping in front of a train.

Production is set to begin next year.

Martin Moszkowicz, Constantin’s head of film and TV, called Hormann “a perfect match for this movie. She has the ability to tell this exceptional story with the necessary sensitivity. I was a big admirer of her last picture ‘Desert Flower.'”

In that 2009 fact-based drama, Hormann explored the challenges facing a poor Somali woman who becomes a supermodel and activist.

Hormann is currently shooting “The Situation Is Hopeless But Not Serious: The Pursuit of Unhappiness,” a romantic comedy based on Paul Watzlawick’s 1983 self-help tome.

The Kinowelt release stars Johanna Wokalek (“Pope Joan”) as a neurotic and superstitious single woman who is convinced that life has nothing but ill fortune in store for her — despite the fact that she sells fortune cookies.

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