The director of Saturday’s hotly anticipated Sundance premiere The Devil’s Double will adapt Bulibasha: King Of The Gypsies.
Tamahori [pictured] is reteaming with Once Were Warriors producer Robin Scholes on an adaptation of acclaimed Maori writer Witi Ihimaera’s 1994 novel Bulibasha: King Of The Gypsies, a 1950s-set story about generational conflict within a tribe living in east New Zealand.
The novel follows teenage couple Tamihana and Ramona, who are caught in the middle of a power struggle between rival patriarchs.
Ihimaera is adapting his own novel, with funding due to come from New Zealand and Australian sources. With a first draft already completed, Tamahori expects the feature to shoot in early 2012.
Speaking to Screen, New Zealander Tamahori (Die Another Day) described the new feature as a “story about the loss of innocence and a young generation which rebels against an old one, turning things around.”
Tamahori is also working on a project he describes as “an anarchic road thriller — long overdue for New Zealand — which is a contemporary imagining of a 19th-century story”.
Tamahori’s upcoming action-drama The Devil’s Double, starring Dominic Cooper and Ludivine Sagnier, gets its world premiere at Sundance tomorrow and its international debut in Berlin.
Ihimaera’s 1987 novel The Whale Rider was adapted by Niki Caro in 2003 to widespread critical acclaim. The Oscar nominated-drama picked up awards at Sundance, Toronto, BAFTA and nine New Zealand Film and Television Awards.