×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Fiennes is culled for Chen’s ‘Killing’

'Concubine' helmer delves into English with erotic thriller

Joseph Fiennes is in negotiations to star opposite Heather Graham in “Killing Me Softly,” the first English-lingo pic from Chinese helmer Chen Kaige (“Farewell My Concubine”).

Fiennes (“Elizabeth,” “Shakespeare in Love”) will next appear with Jude Law in the Paramount/Mandalay production of Jean Jacques Annaud’s “Enemy at the Gates.”

MGM had picked up U.S. and Canadian distribution rights to the $25 million-budgeted “Killing Me” in a negative pickup deal worth close to $10 million earlier this month (Daily Variety, Aug. 10).

The Montecito Picture Co., the production shingle of ex-Universal topper Tom Pollock and helmer Ivan Reitman, is exec producing. Producers are Michael Chinich, Dan Goldberg, Joe Medjuck and Lynda Myles.

The erotic thriller, based on the novel by Nicci French, spins the tale of a London research scientist (Graham) who opts out of her comfortable but ordinary relationship with her boyfriend and into a dangerously obsessive bond with a handsome and mysterious mountaineer. Production designer turned writer Kara Lindstrom penned the script.

Deals for worldwide distribution are in the works. Pollock and Reitman have a deal with DreamWorks, but that studio passed on handling the pic, in part, apparently, because of the frankly sexual nature of the material.

“Killing” is set to start lensing in London on Oct. 29, with an eye to release in fall 2001.

Pic reps the first English-lingo effort by any of China’s famed Fifth Generation helmers, who include Zhang Yimou and Zhou Xiaowen. Chen’s most recent film is “The Emperor and the Assassin.” His pic “Farewell My Concubine” won both the Palme d’Or and the Intl. Critics Prize at Cannes.

Fiennes is repped by CAA and by attorney Barry Hirsh in North America, and by Ken McReddie Ltd. in London. He is managed by Parseghian/Planco.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • The Sky Is Pink

    Toronto Film Review: 'The Sky is Pink'

    Shonali Bose’s much-laureled 2014 “Margarita with a Straw” was a film whose presentation of a cerebral palsy-afflicted heroine sidestepped all the usual hand-wringing inspirational clichés of disability portrayal, making her story all the more enlightening and affecting. It is particularly disappointing, then, that the director’s followup should approach another tale of genetic infirmity with all [...]

  • Jodie Turner-SmithVariety Studio Comic-Con, Day 1,

    'Queen and Slim' Star Jodie Turner-Smith Joins Michael B. Jordan in 'Without Remorse' (EXCLUSIVE)

    After she plays the Bonnie to Daniel Kaluuya’s Clyde in Universal’s romantic thriller “Queen and Slim,” actress Jodie Turner-Smith will join Michael B. Jordan in Paramount’s adaptation of Tom Clancy’s “Without Remorse.” Turner-Smith will play Karen Greer a possible love interest to Jordan’s character. As recently announced, Jamie Bell will also co-star as Robert Ritter, [...]

  • Joe Anthony Russo

    Russo Brothers to Receive Publicists Motion Picture Showman Award

    Hollywood union publicists have selected the Russo Brothers to receive the Motion Picture Showman of the Year Award. Anthony and Joe Russo, who directed “Avengers: Endgame,” will receive the award at the 57th Annual Publicists Awards ceremony on Feb. 7 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The publicists are part of the Intl. Cinematographers Guild, IATSE [...]

  • Sylvester Stallone on Rambo's Return: A

    Sylvester Stallone on Rambo's Return: 'The Warrior Can Never Find Peace'

    Sylvester Stallone may be 73, but he’s not one to sit back in his twilight years. As his legendary body slows, his output certainly hasn’t. This Friday, “Rambo: Last Blood” hits theaters around the world – 37 years after the debut of “Rambo: First Blood.” Why bring the muscled Vietnam veteran back for a final, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content