CANNES — Thaddeus O’Sullivan, John Maybury and Stephen Daldry are among the directors prepping projects for BBC Films, while the unit is also tapping TV talent.
O’Sullivan (“Ordinary Decent Criminal”) is attached to direct “The Echoing Grove,” one of several projects being developed by BBC Films.
The film unit has also signed up Maybury (“Love Is the Devil”) to direct a movie version of the Greek tragedy “Medea,” with Tilda Swinton (“Orlando,” “The Beach”) set to star.
Acclaimed theater director Daldry (“An Inspector Calls”) will make his film helming debut with “Dancer,” which is likely to be produced with Working Title Films.
BBC Films has secured the rights to “The Tesseract,” the latest bestseller from Alex Garland, author of “The Beach.” Garland himself will adapt his thriller.
“The Echoing Grove” is based on Rosamund Lehmann’s novel, a passionate love story set in 1930s cocktail society. Playwright Lucinda Coxon is penning the screenplay.
BBC Films is developing Lee Hall’s script “Dancer” with Tiger Aspect Films, co-producer of “Bean.” It’s the story of a miner’s son who dreams of becoming an international ballet star.
Peter Flannery, who wrote the TV series “Our Friends in the North,” is scripting “In Search of the Assassin” for “East Is East” producer Leslee Udwin. “Assassin” follows a British woman badly injured by a bomb in Nicaragua who returns to the country seeking revenge.
Stephen Knight, creator of the blockbuster gameshow “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” is writing his first feature, “Dirty Pretty Things,” which his company, Celador, is developing with BBC Films. It’s a thriller set in the underworld of London’s illegal immigrant workers.
Michele Camarda’s Kismet Films, co-producer of Michael Winterbottom’s “Wonderland,” has two projects likely to shoot this year under her first-look deal with BBC Films. “Dr. Sleep” is a horror pic written and directed by Nick Willing (“Photographing Fairies”), while Joe Penhall’s “Love and Understanding” concerns a happily married couple whose relationship is disrupted by a blast from the past.
BBC Films is well positioned to benefit from the crossover of TV talent and ideas into the theatrical arena. “Most major British directors, such as John Madden, Michael Winterbottom and Stephen Frears, to name but three, began life directing television for the BBC,” said BBC Films chief David Thompson.
Thompson is mulling over a version of Gustave Flaubert’s “Madame Bovary,” with Tim Fywell to direct, that is being prepped as a TV project but may be on the verge of mutating into a fully fledged theatrical project.
Highlighting the TV to film crossover, Paul Seed’s multi-award-winning telepic “A Rather English Marriage” is attracting interest from distribs worldwide for possible theatrical release.
Seed is also set to helm “Blood Line,” another project originally conceived as a two-part TV drama that now looks likely to be made as a feature film or to spawn a separate movie built upon the same concept.
The feature slate also includes “No Kissing,” written by top TV drama writer Tony Marchant.