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Film News Roundup: ‘The Favourite’ Director Yorgos Lanthimos Boards Crime Drama

In today’s film news roundup, Yorgos Lanthimos has set up a crime drama, “Here Lies Daniel Tate” is being adapted, and Donna Langley becomes a member of the USC film school board.

DIRECTOR HIRED

“The Favourite” producer-director Yorgos Lanthimos has signed on to write and direct crime drama “Pop. 1280,” an adaptation of Jim Thompson’s novel about a corrupt small-town sheriff in the 1960s.

Element Pictures will produce with Imperative Entertainment and Lanthimos, in association with Discovery Productions. “The Favourite” is up for 10 Oscars this weekend, including best picture and director.

“Pop. 1280” centers on a sheriff who won’t solve problems, enforce rules or arrest criminals because he knows that nobody in his jurisdiction actually wants to follow the law. But with an election coming, he needs to fix his problems in order to remain in office.

Andrew Lowe and Ed Guiney of Element Pictures, Lanthimos, Ryan Friedkin of Imperative Entertainment, and John Alan Simon of Discovery Productions will produce. Dan Friedkin and Bradley Thomas of Imperative Entertainment, Micah Green and Dan Steinman of 30West, Elizabeth Karr of Discovery Productions, Ilene Feldman, and Jon Levin will be executive producers.

30West will arrange the financing and distribution for the project. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

Popular on Variety

ACQUISITION

Gunpowder & Sky has acquired the rights to Cristin Terrill’s suspense novel “Here Lies Daniel Tate” and is partnering with screenwriters Nora Kletter and Grainne Belluomo to develop into feature-length film.

The screenwriters will follow the plotline and shift the protagonist from Daniel to Danielle, giving the story a feminist slant.

The film will follow 10-year-old Danielle Tate going missing from one of California’s most elite communities, and left no trace. Six years later, when she resurfaces on a snowy street in Vancouver, she’s no longer the same girl.

Kletter said, “In our telling, Daniel has become Danielle or ‘Dani’ because we feel young women’s concerns and traumas are too often questioned, minimized and overlooked. By reimagining our protagonist as a teenage girl, we are able to explore how a young woman can become her own advocate, and even solve her own murder. This project gave us an opportunity to put a fresh, relatable twist on a genre we love — the gothic thriller.”

APPOINTMENT

Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman Donna Langley has joined the USC School of Cinematic Arts  Board of Councilors.

Elizabeth M. Daley, dean of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, said, “Donna’s understanding of global industry trends and insight about what makes media entertaining and impactful will be very valuable to our school.”

Langley joins a board that includes chair Frank Price, Frank Biondi, Jr., Barry Diller, Lee Gabler, David Geffen, Jim Gianopulos, Brian Grazer, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Sidney Poitier, Shonda Rhimes, Steven Spielberg, Kevin Tsujihara, John Wells, Jim Wiatt, and Robert Zemeckis.

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