It must be one of thehardest books to adapt into a feature film: a sprawling, non-fiction expose ofthe fast food industry, encompassing exploited immigrants, teenagers skippingschool to work in restaurants and the impact on agriculture and the global environment.
But Eric Schlosser'sbestselling Fast Food Nation iscoming together as a Traffic-stylefilm to be directed by Richard Linklater as part of the bustling Cannes slateof UK-based sales company HanWay Films. Linklater, whose credits include Slacker,Before Sunset and School Of Rock, is adapting the book with Schlosser for a shootthis October.
The book is being dramatisedto follow five main characters, played by a cast that will include CatalinaSandino Moreno, the Columbian star of Maria Full Of Grace. Jeremy Thomas, headof HanWay's sister production company the Recorded Picture Co, isproducing with Sex Pistols svengali Malcolm McLaren. Shooting will take placein Texas and Colorado on a budget of around $15m.
"It's Traffic for the fast food industry," said Thomas."It's not just the story of individuals, it's about thesocial effect, the effect on the family unit, its whole effect on theworld."
HanWay's line-up ofseven new films also includes its second film with Woody Allen, which Allen isto shoot this summer, again with Scarlett Johansson in London. Letty Aronson isproducing.
Rounding out the slate are amix of third-party and in-house productions. Stray is a chiller from director Carine Adler starringEmily Mortimer, and Richard Stanley's Vacation is about a holiday from hell.
Severance, from Christopher Smith and Jason Newmark, thedirector-producer team behind low-budget horror hit Creep, is billed as "The Office meets Deliverance". Meanwhile, Chris Graham is to direct SamoanWedding for Whale Rider producer John Barnett.
Also in the line-up areTerry Gilliam's Tideland,Allen's previous film Match Point, which plays at Cannes in Official Selection out of competition, andWim Wenders' Don't Come Knocking, which screens in competition.
"We've got seven new films to sell - that'sa lot," said Tim Haslam, HanWay's chief executive. "Our dooris open to every single distributor."