EXCLUSIVE: Mikael Håfström, the director currently in post on The Tomb starring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger for Summit, plans to direct low-budget comedy thriller Snitch Jacket next.
Håfström, whose most recent release was New Line’s The Rite, hopes to direct the sub-$3 million Snitch Jacket in spring 2013 once he comes off the $70 million The Tomb. Sean Bates has written the screenplay based on Los Angeles Times journalist Christopher Goffard’s novel. Snitch Jacket follows Benny, a misfit loser who finds himself accused of double murder after he gets in cahoots with a psychopathic ex-Vietnam veteran.
Producer Brett Walsh of Los Angeles-based Glasshouse Pictures pitches it as “The Usual Suspects meets The Sopranos.” Casting director Richard Mento and Håfström’s producing partner Kelly Dennis will co-produce.
Meanwhile fellow A-list director Anand Tucker — who is making big budget feature Truckers for DreamWorks Animation – has also gone with Glasshouse to direct a sub-$2 million English-language remake of Japanese film Nobody Knows (2004). The Japanese original picked up Best Actor at Cannes. Based on a true story, Nobody Knows follows four small children living in isolation in an apartment after their mother abandons them. Sharon Maguire (director of Bridget Jones’s Diary and Tucker’s wife) is writing the screenplay. Glasshouse plans to shoot Nobody Knows in Vancouver, Canada with local producer Brightlight Pictures.
Tucker said: “The story of Nobody Knows is so universal that it can stand up to retelling, without hopefully compromising the wonderful original.”
In developing features with Glasshouse, both directors are returning to their independent roots. Håfström’s breakthrough film Evil (2003) was nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award, while Tucker’s indie British film credits include Hilary and Jackie and And When Did You Last See Your Father?
Walsh said: “Mikael is absolutely perfect for Snitch Jacket. It’s the kind of film that we haven’t seen him doing in the States, something with greater depth of character. It’s more in line with the kind of smaller character pieces he did in Sweden.”