Film-maker Phillip Noycehas found a new home for his film of Peter Duffy's novel The BielskiBrothers at Warner IndependentPictures (WIP), and has teamed up with Mace Neufeld and Jonas Goodman to produce it. WIP will develop and finance the project with Cherry Road Films.
The screenplay has beenwritten by first-time screenwriter Kathleen McLaughlin - also a partner inRumbalara Films with Noyce and Miranda Culley. It tells the story of Tuvia,Asael and Zus Bielski who, in the face of annihilation, established a safehaven for escaped Jews deep in the heart of Nazi-occupied Belorussia from whichthey conducted partisan raids and rescue operations.
While Jewish communitieswere being systematically wiped out around them, the brothers created a thrivingvillage in the forest with a main street, bakery, hospital, workshops,newspaper and a school. The Bielski campaign, which saved 1,200 Jews, was thelargest armed rescue of Jews in the war.
The book was originallyoptioned by Miramax Films when WIP president Mark Gill was president of MiramaxLA. Gill previously worked with Noyce on the
US release of RabbitProof Fence and The QuietAmerican in 2002 while at Miramax.
MaceNeufeld Productions and Rumbalara are co-producing with Goodman, whose last filmWe Don't Live Here Anymore waspicked up by WIP at Sundance this year.
The project is beingoverseen by Gill and Bo Hyde and Kendall Morgan at Cherry Road.
Noyce will first direct afilm adaptation of Philip Roth's novel American Pastoral with Lakeshore Entertainment and Lynda Obstproducing. Noyce has previously worked with Neufeld on his Jack Ryanblockbusters Patriot Games and Clear And Present Danger both starring HarrisonFord for Paramount.
Neufeld's current projectsinclude the soon-to-be-released Asylum directed by David Mackenzie (Young Adam) for Paramount Classics and Seconds, a remake of the John Frankenheimer classic to bewritten and directed by Jonathan Mostow for Paramount.
On The Bielski Brothers,Andrew Kramer, executive vice president, business affairs and operations,negotiated on behalf of WIP. Peter Duffy's deal was handled by Sylvie Rabineauof the Rabineau, Wachter & Sanford Agency, and his publishing agent, MaryEvans.
Leo Barraclough contributed to this report