Earlier today, ComingSoon.net sat down with British director Rupert Wyatt to talk about his prison escape thriller The Escapist, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008. You can watch the entire interview with the director next week, but one thing we were wondering about was what he had been up to since finishing his debut feature film.
Wyatt told us that he’ll be starting pre-production in May or June on an adaptation of Sebastian Faulks’ bestseller “Birdsong” for Working Title Productions with plans to be released here by Focus Features. While his involvement with the project had already been announced, he did reveal some of the cast to us, which includes Michael Fassbender from 300 and Steve McQueen’s drama Hunger, and Paddy Considine, who has appeared in films such as The Bourne Supremacy and Cinderella Man after breaking out in Jim Sheridan’s In America. Wyatt also mentioned that Brian Cox, the star of The Escapist, would be appearing in the film as a tough army colonel.
Wyatt told us a little about the general plot for the film: “It’s a very well known book in the UK. It’s a big bestseller about 10, 15 years ago, but it’s set during World War I. I supposed you could relate it to ‘The English Patient’ albeit of a different period, but it has a similar structure in terms of it deals with different timelines. It’s about a man whose heart is broken during a love affair with this married woman who ultimately ends up experiencing the horrors of the first World War.”
The plan is to start shooting in August.
He’s also developing a heist movie about stealing the Mona Lisa with his producing partner Alan Maloney (who produced The Escapist) and writing a script for 20th Century Fox, which is loosely based on the History Channel show Ice Road Truckers. While Wyatt admits that the movie doesn’t have very much to do with the show, he did say it was “very much like a modern-day ‘Wages of Fear’ but set up in the NorthWestern territories of Canada.”
Look for our full interview with the filmmaker before the release of The Escapist in New York and L.A. on Friday, April 3.