×

Kurzel to helm ‘Our Kind of Traitor’

John le Carre adaptation set up by Ink Factory, Potboiler

Aussie helmer Justin Kurzel is set to follow up his award-winning feature debut “Snowtown” with an adaptation of John le Carre’s contemporary thriller novel “Our Kind of Traitor,” to be produced by The Ink Factory and Potboiler Prods.

Hossein Amini (“Drive”) wrote the script, which follows the relationship between a young couple and the charismatic Russian criminal they are persuaded to help defect. Globe-trotting story takes place in London, Paris, Moscow and Tangiers.

Stephen Cornwell, Simon Cornwell and Rhodri Thomas will produce for The Ink Factory, while Gail Egan and Andrea Calderwood will produce for Potboiler Prods. Tessa Ross of Film4, which is supporting development, will exec produce with le Carré.

Script is currently out to financiers and talent, with production expected to start this fall.

“I instantly connected to the material,” Kurzel told Variety. “It’s a contemporary, muscular thriller that felt really fresh, with subject matter and characters that were relevant and immediate to today. I’m interested in surrogate father-son relationships, which I also responded to in ‘Snowtown,’ and saw similiarities in the dynamic in ‘Our Kind of Traitor.'”

Asked whether he’s intimidated by tackling the work of a literary giant, Kurzel said “I have enormous respect for John le Carre and the last few films [based on his work] have been of enormous quality. I’m more inspired than intimidated, honestly. ‘Our Kind of Traitor’ is a different type of le Carre, it’s more visceral than ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.’ Le Carre has been excited by and encouraging about our interpretation and where we want to take it as a film,” said Kurzel, who has been collaborating with Amini for the last several months and has overseen the two latest drafts.

The Ink Factory is producing another le Carre adaptation in “A Most Wanted Man,” which Anton Corbijn is directing from a script by Andrew Bovell with Philip Seymour Hoffman set to star. Potboiler has also previously worked with le Carre, having producing Fernando Meirelles’ adaptation of “The Constant Gardener.”

Kurzel is expected to direct a segment of “The Turning,” a collection of short films in which Aussie thesps Cate Blanchett and Mia Wasikowska will make directing debuts. His debut feature, which was released stateside as “The Snowtown Murders,” is currently available on VOD.

Amini has writing credits on Universal’s upcoming tentpoles “Snow White and the Huntsman” and “47 Ronin.”

Kurzel is repped by CAA, 3 Arts Entertainment and Oz-based HLA Management. Amini is repped by WME and Curtis Brown Group.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Demi Moore Corporate Animals

    Demi Moore Teases Upcoming Memoir 'Inside Out,' Talks 'Corporate Animals' Team Bonding

    As Demi Moore gears up for the Sept. 24 release of her autobiography “Inside Out,” the actress says she feels like a weight has been lifted. “Even the stuff that I may have been nervous about is completely lifting…because it’s a process,” Moore told Variety at the premiere of her upcoming film “Corporate Animals” at [...]

  • Bloodline

    Film Review: 'Bloodline'

    The manic, filter-free, all-id persona Seann William Scott embodied in the roles that first brought him to attention nearly a couple decades ago — notably teen comedies “Road Trip,” “Dude, Where’s My Car?” and the “American Pie” series — did something inspired with a familiar type. The alpha frat-bro character is usually a villain, or [...]

  • Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent,

    Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent, Dies at 88

    Jack Gilardi, a longtime ICM Partners agent who represented such stars as Burt Reynolds, Sylvester Stallone, Jerry Lewis, Charlton Heston and Shirley MacLaine, died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 88. Gilardi was known for his gentlemanly style, love of the Los Angeles Dodgers and his skill at representing top actors. He [...]

  • Depeche Mode - Dave GahanLes Vieilles

    Depeche Mode Documentary Gets One-Night Theatrical Release

    Depeche Mode has reunited with the group’s long-time filmographer, Anton Corbjn, for a combination documentary/concert film, “Spirits in the Forest,” which Trafalgar Releasing has announced it will put on approximately 2400 screens worldwide for one night Nov. 21. The film documents performance footage from the Berlin dates of Depeche Mode’s 115-gig Global Spirit Tour of [...]

  • Promare

    Film Review: 'Promare'

    Anime maniacs have been waiting for this day: Eight years ago, Hiroyuki Imaishi co-founded Studio Trigger with the goal of one day hatching a feature as wild and innovative as his TV series “Gurren Lagann” and “Kill la Kill.” Now he has. Every bit as loud and ambitious as one might expect from a visual [...]

  • Paul Dano

    Paul Dano in Talks to Join Jane Campion's 'The Power of the Dog' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Paul Dano is in negotiations to join Benedict Cumberbatch in Netflix and Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog.” Netflix acquired the film earlier this summer from See-Saw Films’ in-house sales arm Cross City Films. Variety first reported on the project earlier this month and Cross City Films launched sales at the Cannes Film Festival. [...]

  • The Sleepwalkers

    Toronto Film Review: 'The Sleepwalkers'

    Argentine writer-director Paula Hernández likes to explore what happens when characters from different worlds are thrown together. In her latest, “The Sleepwalkers,” which world-premiered in Toronto’s Platform competition before moving on to San Sebastian, the focus is on a discontented mother and her sullen, newly pubescent teen daughter, as they spend a New Year’s holiday [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content