Fresh from the controversy ofhis Berlinale Silver Bear winner The Road To Guantanamo,prolific British director Michael Winterbottom is setto tackle an equally contentious project. Winterbottomrevealed this week that his company Revolution has optioned Murder In Samarkand, the memoirs of Craig Murray, the former
Comedian Steve Coogan is in the frame to play Murray, who was sacked in2004 after drawing attention to torture and human rights abuses in
"The book is fantastic. It isvery, very funny," Winterbottom stated. "It alsodeals with the fact that the reason he (Murray) is no longer Ambassador is thatthe British Government was using information obtained from torture and hethought that was wrong." He likened
Winterbottom anticipates that it will take over a year to set theCraig Murray film up. In the meantime, he is pushing ahead with his next project,Genova, aghost story set in
The British director revealedthat he has now shelved plans to shoot a movie featuring Steve Coogan as a spaceman. The original plan was to use the setsfrom Danny Boyle's sci-fi epic Sunshine,shot at Three Mills Studios. "We tried to persuade (producer) Andrew Macdonaldto let us come on at night. While they did a serious film in daytime, wethought we could do a stupid comedy on their set at night," Winterbottomsaid. In the end, the two parties could not come to an agreement and theproject was abandoned.
The Road To Guantanamo will screen on Channel 4 on March 9.