Chareau to be helmer on ‘Hunger’

WB exec to help pen screenplay

Patrice Chereau, whose last two films earned him the Silver Bear Award for best director at the Berlin Film Festival, has set his sights on “Hunger,” a contemporary adaptation of the Knut Hamsun novel. The film will be produced by partners Stephen Hamel and Barrie Osborne.

Chereau, whose Berlin-honored pics were “His Brother” and “Intimacy,” is working on “Hunger” with screenwriter Christian Moerk, the former Daily Variety reporter and Warner Bros. executive. “Hunger” is the second project Moerk has scripted for Hamel and Osborne. He has also completed a draft of “Loaded,” the true story of what happened to the close-knit residents of a town near the Florida everglades when they got an unexpected weed windfall in the ’70s, as drug runners dumped huge bales of pot to escape the cops. The residents became wealthy and corrupted, and things got ugly.

Written in 1890, “Hunger” is described as the story of a grief-stricken man who blames himself for his young son’s death. His punishment is to plunge himself into acts of self-vandalism, a process that transforms him. Chewed to its core, the guy starves himself.

Chereau, who will be jury president of the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, is also developing “Napoleon” with Al Pacino. The producers will look for financing after Chereau and Moerk finish the script. Osborne is best known for being the line producer of “The Matrix” and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

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