Tamahori preps to ‘Die’

007 director to return to roots

Lee Tamahori, who’s currently filming James Bond pic “Die Another Day,” will follow with a project closer to the New Zealander’s “Once Were Warriors” roots.

Fine Line Features and Radar Pictures will steer Tamahori’s adaptation of “I Shall Not Die,” the James Belich book about Titokowaru, a 19th century Maori warrior who led a rebellion against British colonialists. After finding that passive resistance to British rule was futile, Titokowaru proved a brilliant military tactician who led a rebellion against the British.

Ian Mune, who consulted on Tamahori’s “Once Were Warriors,” is penning the script.

Pic will be produced by Radar senior production exec Tom Engelman, along with Don Murphy and Jane Hamsher. Radar chairman Ted Field, prexy Scott Kroopf and Fine Line topper Mark Ordesky will exec produce. ICM and Industry Entertainment made Tamahori’s deal.

“It’s about a peaceful, native preacher who becomes a brilliant military leader on the scale of Alexander the Great, Napoleon and Patton,” said Engelman. “The combination of Lee’s vision, filmmaking and personal connection to the story promises a spectacular epic.”

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