Variety reports that Focus Features has made a two-year first-look deal with Sam Mendes and Neal Street Productions, the company the director partners in with Pippa Harris and Caro Newling.
The deal includes the acquisition of two projects that could be potential directing vehicles for Mendes.
Mendes, Harris and Newling are producing Butcher’s Crossing, an epic adventure based on the 1960 revisionist Western novel by John Williams.
Set in 1870s America, the film focuses on a man who forsakes his Harvard education to move to the small Kansas town of Butcher’s Crossing. There, he joins the hunt for one of the last great buffalo herds.
Focus will also develop Middlemarch, an adaptation of the George Eliot novel about changing fortunes in a provincial English community in the early 1830s. A script is in by Andrew Davies.