Charles Sturridge to write, helm suspenser

Rolling off the success of period drama “Downton Abbey,” Blighty’s commercial web ITV has greenlit a period film based on Daphne du Maurier’s novel, “The Scapegoat,” written and helmed by Charles Sturridge.

“The Scapegoat” stars Matthew Rhys, of U.S. skein “Brothers and Sisters,” and seasoned thesp Eileen Atkins. The 100-minute film will be produced by Sarah Beardsall and Dominic Minghella’s Island Pictures.

Story is set in England as the nation prepares for the coronation of Elizabeth II, and revolves around two men from very different backgrounds who look almost identical.

ITV’s drama topper Laura Mackie said: “‘The Scapegoat’ is a terrific, suspenseful script featuring characters with sinister motivations and dark secrets. We’ve wanted to adapt a Daphne Du Maurier novel for some time and we’re thrilled we now have this opportunity.”

Production begins next month. Content Film will handle international theatrical distribution following pic’s broadcast on ITV1.

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