Aussie helmer Justin Kurzel is set to follow up his award-winning feature debut “Snowtown” with an adaptation of John le Carre’s contemporary thriller novel “Our Kind of Traitor,” to be produced by The Ink Factory and Potboiler Prods.
Hossein Amini (“Drive”) wrote the script, which follows the relationship between a young couple and the charismatic Russian criminal they are persuaded to help defect. Globe-trotting story takes place in London, Paris, Moscow and Tangiers.
Stephen Cornwell, Simon Cornwell and Rhodri Thomas will produce for The Ink Factory, while Gail Egan and Andrea Calderwood will produce for Potboiler Prods. Tessa Ross of Film4, which is supporting development, will exec produce with le Carré.
Script is currently out to financiers and talent, with production expected to start this fall.
“I instantly connected to the material,” Kurzel told Variety. “It’s a contemporary, muscular thriller that felt really fresh, with subject matter and characters that were relevant and immediate to today. I’m interested in surrogate father-son relationships, which I also responded to in ‘Snowtown,’ and saw similiarities in the dynamic in ‘Our Kind of Traitor.'”
Asked whether he’s intimidated by tackling the work of a literary giant, Kurzel said “I have enormous respect for John le Carre and the last few films [based on his work] have been of enormous quality. I’m more inspired than intimidated, honestly. ‘Our Kind of Traitor’ is a different type of le Carre, it’s more visceral than ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.’ Le Carre has been excited by and encouraging about our interpretation and where we want to take it as a film,” said Kurzel, who has been collaborating with Amini for the last several months and has overseen the two latest drafts.
The Ink Factory is producing another le Carre adaptation in “A Most Wanted Man,” which Anton Corbijn is directing from a script by Andrew Bovell with Philip Seymour Hoffman set to star. Potboiler has also previously worked with le Carre, having producing Fernando Meirelles’ adaptation of “The Constant Gardener.”
Kurzel is expected to direct a segment of “The Turning,” a collection of short films in which Aussie thesps Cate Blanchett and Mia Wasikowska will make directing debuts. His debut feature, which was released stateside as “The Snowtown Murders,” is currently available on VOD.
Amini has writing credits on Universal’s upcoming tentpoles “Snow White and the Huntsman” and “47 Ronin.”
Kurzel is repped by CAA, 3 Arts Entertainment and Oz-based HLA Management. Amini is repped by WME and Curtis Brown Group.