Demme has optioned Michel Faber's The Courage Consort and plans to develop the screenplay in 2009.
Demme is a big fan of Faber's work and says 'Robyn Hitchcock turned me on to him.' He and Hitchcock worked together on concert film Storefront Hitchcock and The Manchurian Candidate.
Faber's 2002 novella is about the members of a vocal ensemble who seclude themselves in a Belgian chateau to rehearse an extremely difficult new piece. The five singers have complicated relationships brought to light by a tragedy.
Faber is well known for bestseller The Crimson Petal And The White and Under The Skin, which Jonathan Glazer is bringing to the big screen.
First, though, Demme will return to documentary work to finish his Bob Marley documentary. He took over in May as director of that project, replacing Martin Scorsese. Tuff Gong Films/Shangri-La Entertainment is producing and Fortissimo is handling sales.
And Demme says he will also use 2009 to find a home for his New Orleans documentary project, which he tentatively calls The Right To Return Project. It was started with talk show host Tavis Smiley.
'I've made a deal with myself that when Marley is done, I will find a home for it,' said Demme.
He has shot 500 hours of footage in New Orleans over the past three years for that piece, about local residents' struggle to reclaim their homes after Hurricane Katrina. 'It's got amazing series potential,' he notes.
He plans to edit it at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, NY. And he'll also use the footage to help students there. 'I'll make all the dailies available for students to make their own version,' he says.
Meanwhile, he has also recently finished concert film Neil Young Trunk Show. He presented it as a work in progress at San Sebastian.