John Hurt will star in the $7 million Rwanda drama “Shooting Dogs,” which Michael Caton-Jones will direct for BBC Films.
Other projects on the BBC’s diverse slate of upcoming features are “Triage,” from Bosnian auteur Danis Tanovic; chick-lit adaptation “Rachel’s Holiday,” likely to star Catherine Zeta-Jones; “Revolutionary Road,” adapted from the classic American novel by Richard Yates; and a bigscreen version of William Nicholson’s telepic “Life Story,” about the discovery of DNA.
“Shooting Dogs,” written by David Wolstencroft and inspired by a true story, is about a priest (Hurt) and a young English teacher who find themselves caught up in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
Hurt and Caton-Jones previously worked together on “Scandal” and “Rob Roy.” Shooting will take place this summer in Rwanda.
“Once in a lifetime, a director gets to use the tremendous skills and quality of an actor nurtured over many years on a truly extraordinary story,” Caton-Jones said. “John is a genius and we’ve had a very fruitful relationship in the past.”
Pic is produced by CrossDay Prods. with Egoli Tossell, and Renaissance Films is handling worldwide sales.
“Triage,” written and to be directed by Tanovic (“No Man’s Land”), is being developed by Bruna Papandrea at Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack’s Mirage. A drama about a reporter in a war zone, it’s vying with the Wild Bunch project “Hell” to be Tanovic’s next movie.
“Rachel’s Holiday” is based on Marion Keyes’ comic novel about a young woman who can’t quite face up to the fact she’s a drug addict. Producer Alison Owen is developing the project, with Zeta- Jones reportedly in talks to star.
BBC Films has joined forces with Gotham production outfit Hart Sharp to develop an adaptation of “Revolutionary Road,” the 1961 novel about a talented young couple struggling to maintain their dreams of greatness in the face of the pressures of suburban life. Justin Haythe, who wrote the Robert Redford pic “The Clearing,” is penning the screenplay.
David Yates, who directed the BAFTA-winning TV drama “State of Play,” is attached to direct the movie version of “Life Story.” Nicholson (“Gladiator”) is adapting his own 1987 teleplay, which told the story of how James Watson and Francis Crick raced against several rivals to crack the structure of DNA. The BBC is developing the project with Pippa Harris at Sam Mendes’ new production shingle, Scamp.
The BBC slate also includes the Stephen Frears project “Mrs. Henderson Presents,” starring Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins, which Pathe is in talks to co-finance; and Martin Campbell’s bigscreen version of the classic TV ecothriller “Edge of Darkness,” which Andrew Bovell is scripting.