Having transplanted the spaghetti Western to India with Miramax Films pick-up The Warrior, UK director Asif Kapadia is considering swapping the deserts of Rajasthan for the real Wild West on St Agnes' Stand.
Kapadia is being wooed to direct the story of an injured gunslinger on the run for Nik Powell's Scala Productions and producer Elizabeth Karlsen, whose credits include Purely Belter, The Hollow Reed and Little Voice.
Miramax reportedly picked up the project, an adaptation of Tom Eidson's novel, for Scala when it was in turnaround from Universal Pictures. The UK's FilmFour, which bankrolled The Warrior along with the erstwhile British Screen Finance, may also board, although a spokesperson declined comment.
Reminiscent of Kapadia's debut, in which a samurai-like warrior befriends an orphan and a wise woman in his search for redemption, St Agnes' Stand tells how the outlaw meets a group of nuns and orphans who have survived an Apache ambush. Like The Warrior, the story combines western themes with a dash of religious mysticism: one of the nuns, Sister St Agnes, is convinced that he has been sent by God to rescue them. As the group battles the blazing heat and dust for survival, the shoot would also take Kapadia back to the desert - although this time New Mexico would replace north-west India.
Captain Corelli's Mandolin director John Madden was previously attached for Miramax, while City Slickers' Ron Underwood was on board for Universal.
Neither Miramax nor Kapadia were available for comment.