Julia Taylor-Stanley’s slate also includes an adaptation of Henry James’ The Ambassadors.
“Nobody can write about Formula 1 like Manish can,” the producer says. “His knowledge is second to none so we’re very excited about the project. We’re already talking to an A-list director and have some financing committed, so it ‘s all happening very fast.”
It will be a UK-Italy co-production shooting in both countries.
It will concentrate on famed drivers Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins and the racing brand’s history in the late 1950s and early 1960s. “It was a very tragic period in Ferrari’s history, and there is also a love triangle within the story.”
Her slate also includes an adaptation of Henry James’ The Ambassadors (with French producer Philippe Carcassonne). That $25m project “has to be opulent,” she notes, and will have an A-list cast and director. Janet Dulin Jones is adapting.
She is also producing, with Potboiler’s Gail Egan and Trademark’s David Parfitt, The Barretts, a biopic of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. That one, which could shoot in the UK in spring 2012, is budgeted at about $10-$12m, and is out to directors now. Prescience is on board for financing. “She was one fo the most famous writers of her day but she was virtually imprisoned by her father,” Taylor-Stanley says of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. “After she met [Robert] Browning, she became stronger. It’s about how she escaped from the clutches of a man domineering her, it’s an incredible love story.” Janet Dulin Jones has also written this original screenplay.
Also with producer Gaby Tana, she is working on the $8m Babbette, to star Ed Harris as an aging tightrope walker who had been the toast of Paris in the 1930s.
Of Ralph Fiennes’ Coriolanus, which screens in Toronto starting tonight, she says: “When Ralph approached me about Coriolanus I had just come off the shoot of Julie Taymor’s Tempest and definitely wasn’t in the market for another Shakespearean adaptation. John’s Logan’s script was so superb and Ralph’s vision and passion so compelling, I was completely committed from the first meeting - he had me at ‘Hello’ basically. From the school of hard knocks I knew the budget had to come down, especially since Coriolanus isn’t his best known play, but it had never been filmed before and we are all incredibly proud of the finished film. Ralph delivered at every level and he says that despite the budget constraints his vision was never compromised.”
Taylor-Stanley adds, “Financing is always a challenge but the reception [for Coriolanus’ world premiere] in Berlin definitely opened doors. Private equity figures heavily in our financing. We have four period films in our slate so I haven’t exactly taken an easier route.”