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Scribe inks a ‘Strange’ deal

New Line set to adapt Clarke story

New Line Cinema has set Christopher Hampton to adapt Susanna Clarke’s novel “Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.”

Tale concerns a magician and his apprentice who use their powers in the war against Napoleon but are eventually pitted against each other. Project is one of several epic-sized fantasy book adaptations being mobilized by a studio looking to reload after “The Lord of the Rings.”

New Line exec veep Mark Ordesky and senior veep of European production Ileen Maisel are shepherding the project.

New Line is further ahead on “The Golden Compass,” the first installment of the Philip Pullman fantasy trilogy “His Dark Materials.” A director will be named soon to replace Chris Weitz, who wrote the last draft of the script. New Line will get a first draft adaptation of the Cornelia Funke novel “Inkheart” from scribe David Lindsay-Abaire in May.

Hampton won an Oscar for “Dangerous Liaisons”; other credits include the stage musical adaptation “Sunset Boulevard” and “The Quiet American.” He most recently scripted “Tokyo Rose” for Paramount.

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