Director John Maybury is on a high having just locked The Edge Of Love, his Wales-shot drama about Dylan Thomas and the women who loved him. 'It's the best thing I've done,' the director says. The BBC Films project, sold and financed by Capitol with backing from the Wales Creative IP Fund and Prescience, looks likely for a Cannes launch and Lionsgate has already nabbed UK and Australian rights.
'I'm very proud of all four of the actors,' Maybury says of Sienna Miller, Keira Knightley, Cillian Murphy and Matthew Rhys. 'They all stretch themselves in different ways. It's going to surprise a lot of people.'
Turning his attention now to Wuthering Heights (see story, left), Maybury admits it is a slightly unusual move after work such as his edgy Francis Bacon biopic Love Is The Devil. 'I'm not a huge fan of the 'bonnet fatigue' genre,' he says with a laugh. 'But Ecosse produces interesting work and they play with period genres in different ways. And Wuthering Heights is the most exciting of all the period classics.'
He says he admires earlier big-screen versions such as William Wyler's 1939 effort and Luis Bunuel's 1954 update. Maybury believes Olivia Hetreed has hit on something special with her script. 'Olivia has synthesised the complex darkness of the book about how Heathcliff's passion destroys everyone around him.'
So perhaps the themes are not that laced up after all. 'I want this to be a film for a modern audience. It's not going to be Merchant Ivory style,' says the director.
Producer Robert Bernstein says Maybury was his first choice: 'I think Wuthering Heights needs a passionate, dangerous director and that's why I chose John.'
Maybury is also working with producer Norma Heyman to start a new script for a biopic of photographer Lee Miller, and he hopes to shoot Come Like Shadows with Jude Law and Tilda Swinton.