Helmer Tykwer nosing around ‘Perfume’

Director, Constantin founder Eichinger working on script

BERLIN — Teutonic helmer Tom Tykwer looks set to direct the 18th-century thriller “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer” for Constantin Film.

According to Constantin exec Thomas Peter Friedl, Tykwer is working on the script with Constantin founder Bernd Eichinger, but he stressed that no director had yet been signed. “We are waiting for the script to be finished and then we’ll look for possible directors and a cast and start talking to potential international partners.”

Tykwer, the director of 1998’s “Run Lola Run,” appears to be the front-runner to helm the story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, a Frenchman born with no smell of his own who develops a near super-human olfactory sense. Using his talent to create unrivaled perfumes, he turns to murder while searching for the ultimate scent.

Orlando Bloom is said to be high on Constantin’s wish list for the lead role.

One of the highest-profile projects in development at Constantin, pic was intended as a directorial vehicle for Ridley Scott when Eichinger acquired the rights to Patrick Sueskind’s novel three years ago in what was one of the biggest book deals in years. “In my opinion ‘Perfume’ is one of the books of the century,” Eichinger said at the time.

Having gone through rewrites, first by Caroline Thompson (“Edward Scissorhands”) and later by Andrew Birkin, who co-wrote Eichinger’s 1986 production “The Name of the Rose” and more recently Luc Besson’s “The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc,” the film looks set to shoot this year. It would be Tykwer’s first film since 2002’s “Heaven.” Tykwer became one of Germany’s hottest filmmakers following “Run Lola Run.”

Constantin purchased the film rights from Eichinger last year for $10 million. Published in 1985, the book has sold more than 15 million copies, becoming the biggest-selling German novel since Erich Maria Remarque’s “All Quiet on the Western Front” in 1929.

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