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Roeg's Independent lines up films with Michael Mann, Saul Dibb

UK production/finance/sales company Independent - riding high in Cannes with We Need To Talk About Kevin - has confirmed that Michael Mann will direct its adaptation of Bernard Cornwell’s Agincourt.

Benjamin Ross is adapting the script now, and Independent founder and CEO Luc Roeg told Screen that the project has “momentum” now, yet it’s too early to predict a shoot date for production in the UK and France.

Independent plans to fully develop Agincourt with Mann’s Forward Pass before talking to a studio partner to come on board.

“It’s a great example of what we want to achieve,” Roeg told Screen.

The company also has Saul Dibb directing the Tony Grisoni script Codenames Only. Jill Green of Eleventh Hour Films also produces. That will have a start date in early 2013.

That story is about police officers who have blurred lines between their undercover work on a council estate and their personal lives. “It’s got a thriller tone to it but good dramatic character development too,” Roeg said.

Also on Independent’s development slate is Ronan Bennett’s adaptation of Skeletons On The Zahara. The film is being readied to go out to finance and possible directors. “It’s an epic story that doesn’t have to be made on an epic budget,” Roeg says of the story about stranded sailors who are enslaved.

Independent’s Andrew Orr will produce contemporary London-set thriller Clean Face, which is described as “Run Lola Run meets Taken.” Gary Young (Harry Brown) wrote with Daniel Dale, and Mo Ali (Shank) will direct. The shoot will start in September or October and the project is now being discussed with potential cast and UK distributors.

Independent is also finishing Bernard Rose’s Tolstoy adaptation Boxing Day, starring Danny Huston, for delivery in late summer.
Another Independent sales titles, Hunky Dory starring Minnie Driver, should be ready for an autumn festival launch, possibly at Toronto.

Roeg also noted that in addition to doing joint sales with New York-based Cinetic, the companies are also exploring “other opportunities to work together.”

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