Fresh from their mutually beneficial double-date with “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” Paramount Pictures and Miramax Films will pact again on a remake of the adventure classic “The Four Feathers.”
Hossein Amini (“The Wings of the Dove,” “Jude”) will pen the adaptation of the 1939 screenplay, though no helmer is attached as yet. Script is expected to wing its way to directors later this month.
Original pic — produced by Alexander Korda and directed by his brother Zoltan — was set at the end of the 19th century, during the British Empire’s reconquest of the Sudan. Storyline involves a British officer who resigns his post just before battle and is given four white feathers by his friends and fiancee as symbols of what they believe to be his cowardice. Disguising himself as a Sudanese, he later attempts to redeem himself and his honor by infiltrating the enemy capital and freeing his captured comrades.
While terms of the “Feathers” deal are still fluttering about, insiders familiar with them said that the Par-Miramax co-production would ultimately mirror that of “Mr. Ripley,” wherein Par handled domestic distributing and Miramax the foreign. Both studios would — as with “Ripley” — split the proceeds of the film’s domestic and international rights equally.
“Feathers” will be produced by Stanley Jaffe and Bob Jaffe’s Jaffilms, representing a reunion of sorts with Sherry Lansing. Pic will mark the first time in eight years that former Jaffe partner-cum-Paramount topper Lansing and Stanley Jaffe will work together on a picture, albeit in decidedly different roles this time. Their production shingle was one of the more prominent in Hollywood during the late ’80s, making pics including “Fatal Attraction” (1987), “The Accused” (1988) and “Black Rain” (1989).
Jaffe is also producing the Kim Basinger starrer “I Dreamed of Africa” with producing partner Allyn Stewart. That pic is set up at Columbia Pictures for release this year.
In agreeing to refashion the story of the infamous Brit conquest of the Sudan, Par and Miramax are in fact remaking a remake; in 1955 Vincent Korda himself sought to replicate the success of his 1939 pic, titling the redux effort “Storm Over the Nile.” Several other versions of the story were also filmed, including a 1977 telepic.
Miramax execs could not be reached for comment Sunday, and Paramount execs declined to comment on the deal; Jaffilms principals did not return calls placed to their New York and Los Angeles offices seeking comment.
Amini is repped by the U.K.-based Curtis Brown literary and media agency.