The UK's FilmFour is lining up several high-profile book adaptations as part of its 2001 development slate, including projects with hot UK talents Stephen Daldry, Lynne Ramsay, Jonathan Glazer and Peter Cattaneo.
Cattaneo, the director of The Full Monty, who is currently in post-production for FilmFour on Lucky Break, is set to direct Pobby And Dingam, from a novel by Ben Rice. Set in a small Australian opal-mining town, the film tells the story of a young girl whose two imaginary friends turn her family's world upside down. FilmFour's deputy head of production Elinor Day will oversee the project.
Lynne Ramsay, director of the critically acclaimed Ratcatcher, is to write and direct The Lovely Bones, which tells the story of a murdered teenage girl observing from heaven as her death alters the course of her family's life. Aimee Peyronnet will produce for Seaside Productions.
The novel, written by Alice Sebold and now titled Wide Wide Heaven, will be published later this year. Liana Dognini will co-write with Ramsay, who is currently in pre-production on Morvern Caller for Company Pictures.
Meanwhile, Sexy Beast director Jonathan Glazer is attached to direct Under The Skin, a sci-fi-horror story centring on a female creature who trolls the Scottish Highlands looking for males to abduct. Industry Entertainment produces.
And Stephen Daldry is lined up to direct the Paul Raphael production The Hiding Room, from Jonathan Wilson's novel, about an epic love story between a British intelligence officer and a Jewish refugee in 1940's Cairo. Frederic Raphael is writing the script.
Deputy head of production James Wilson, who brought all four projects into the company, will oversee.
Other new FilmFour developments include The Fencing Master, produced by Jose Vicuna from the novel by Arturo Perez-Reverte, which is set in pre-revolution Spain; and Edgardo Mortara, produced by Industry Entertainment from Rob Eshman's original script about a young Jewish boy kidnapped by the Catholic Church and befriended by the Pope in second world war Italy. Elinor Day will oversee both projects.
FilmFour has also optioned the rights to Todd Volpe's book outline Eye Of The Fox - Glitz, Glamour and Corruption in the Art World and Hollywood, as source material for a film about the modern art business, which Aimee Peyronnet of Seaside Productions will produce. James Wilson, who brought in the project, will supervise for FilmFour.
Dubbed "Traffic with paint" by Wilson, the material, which includes a Talk Magazine article and Todd Volpe's life story rights, details the career of the 1980s art dealer, who became a professional tastemaker to a slew of Hollywood's most powerful stars and producers. Volpe was later ruined after he was convicted of defrauding them.