Prolific writer has The Dinosaur Project.
Though writers admittedly live in a state of perpetual development, it is still an anomaly that none of Jay Basu’s high-profile scripts have yet graced the screen.
However, it looks as if Optimum’s The Dinosaur Project, a Cloverfield-style ‘found footage’ drama now shooting in South Africa, will finally be the first. Aged 32, Basu started out as a novelist before the first film on which he worked, Song Of Songs (co-authored with Josh Appignanesi), won a prize at Edinburgh and sent him into the world of full-time scriptwriting. Now his well-regarded and much-optioned screenplays are too many to name individually but are all multiplex-bound. “I like writing films with a commercial edge to them,” he says. Examples include Olympic sports feature Fast Girls, co-written with Noel Clarke, to crime thriller Bad Traffic, and The Pier, set up for Eran Creevy to direct. He names GBH, based on the novel by Ted Lewis, as his breakthrough when it featured on the 2008 Brit List. Right now he has just completed a screenplay about Merlin for Working Title and is engrossed in another script based on a New Yorker article about the Pink Panthers, a true-life gang of hardened Serbian criminals-turned-jewel thieves. “It has gotten to the point where the work is coming to me,” he admits.