A Madden-ing touch

Helmer courted by Miramax for 'Silk' adaptation

ROME — Will Helmer John Madden ever contemplate contemporary life? Perhaps, but his current triad of projects under development would indicate otherwise.

The “Shakespeare in Love” helmer has been casting about for the proper follow-up to his Oscar-winning gig, and has settled his eyes with interest on an adaptation of “Silk,” by Alessandro Baricco.

Miramax toppers Bob and Harvey Weinstein confirmed that they’d optioned the novella Oct. 29 for producer Domenico Procacci at Rome-based Fandango.

Baricco has an agreement that permits him to author the first draft, though other writers will likely rewrite the screenplay, according to insiders familiar with the deal.

The pic could become his first project to go before cameras since Miramax Films’ multiple Oscar winner “Shakespeare in Love.”

Madden, who has a multipicture deal with Miramax, has yet to make a firm commitment to a project to follow “Shakespeare.”

He’s also attached to direct the World War II pic “Charlotte Gray” about a young Scotswoman who joins the French resistance, which is based on Sebastian Faulk’s bestseller of the same name. The Film Four Production of “Gray” might still be folded into Miramax’s banner, with Jeremy Brock writing the screenplay.

Then again, Madden’s also interested in helming the Miramax horse opera “St. Agnes’ Stand” for producer Elizabeth Karlsen — but there’s no writer on the project as yet.

Even with all the other distractions, insiders say a “Silk” script is being rushed into Madden’s hands in an effort to ensure this really is his next project.

Story of “Silk” follows an 1860’s silkworm merchant on his first trip to Japan, where the married man falls desperately for a mogul’s daughter. But unable to speak the language, he knows their affair is doomed, and returns to France and his wife. He makes every excuse to return to Japan once a year, and later begins a correspondence with the woman via a French translator, with ultimately tragic results.

The action in “Silk” is divided mainly between France and Japan, but no decision has yet been made about where the production would shoot.

Madden is in Italy to meet with Baricco, who is penning a screenplay with the director’s input. Further meetings reportedly are scheduled.

Film rights to the novel were initially optioned by Procacci, who figures as sole producer on the project.

(Claude Brodesser in Los Angeles contributed to this report.)

More Film

  • Lucas (Jonah Hauer-King) and Bella (Amber)

    China's Bona Film Boards Brad Pitt's 'Ad Astra,' 'A Dog's Way Home' (EXCLUSIVE)

    China’s Bona Film Group is co-financing Brad Pitt space adventure “Ad Astra,” one of several films in a strong slate of international movies the company plans to release in the Middle Kingdom over the next year. Bona has also acquired Roland Emmerich’s war spectacular “Midway” and is investing in “A Dog’s Way Home,” the sequel [...]

  • Aquaman 2018

    Film News Roundup: 'Aquaman' Sets Pre-Sales Record

    In today’s film news roundup, “Aquaman” sets a pre-sales record, “Bohemian Rhapsody” hits a milestone, and SAG-AFTRA promotes four executives.  PRE-SALES RECORD “Aquaman” has set a pre-sales record for Atom Tickets, topping “Deadpool 2,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” and “Black Panther.” “Clearly, ‘Aquaman’ has captured the attention of movie fans with its larger-than-life adventure that must [...]

  • 'Liga' Kicks Off At Ventana Sur's

    Ventana Sur: 'La Liga' Kicks Off at Buenos Aires' Animation!

    Spain’s Quirino Awards, Argentina’s Animation! and Mexico’s Pixelatl Festival, three key events in Ibero-American animation, will join forces to create La Liga (The League), as announced Wednesday at an Animation! round table hosted by the Quirino Awards, titled “Iberoamerican Alliance Models.” Speakers included Quirino Awards promoter José Luis Farias, Mexico’s Pixelatl director José Iñesta, Gonzalo [...]

  • The Quake Review

    Film Review: 'The Quake'

    Roar Uthaug’s 2015 “The Wave” revived the pleasures of the 1970s disaster-movie cycle in a form that seemed purer than the never-quite-dead genre’s recent Stateside incarnations — most of which seem to involve Dwayne Johnson in a generic pileup of CGI perils. “The Wave” wasn’t high art, but it was entertainment that delivered some standard [...]

  • The Mule trailer

    Film Review: Clint Eastwood in 'The Mule'

    From Dirty Harry to … dirty grandpa, Clint Eastwood certainly has a type of character that he plays best, and “The Mule” finds him squarely in his comfort zone, appearing as a surly old horticulturalist who, at age 90, has become perhaps the most reliable drug runner for the Sinaloa cartel, evading detection for nearly [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content