Rupert Wyatt Looking to Direct 'Londongrad' Project with Fassbender
What's next for Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt? It might be Londongrad, a project based on a true story of the poisoned former Soviet KBG officer Alexander Litvinenko, that's been in development for a while. Variety is reporting that Wyatt is "closing in on" directing Londongrad next, which is in development at Warner Bros, from a script by David Scarpa (The Last Castle, Day the Earth Stood Still). This sounds like it could be great if Wyatt gets to direct. While it's not anywhere confirmed, they add that Michael Fassbender is "circling" the Litvinenko role. Now that sounds awesome. So what's it about?
Here's the background on the story. Alexander Litvinenko was an officer who served in the Soviet KGB and later Russia's Federal Security Service. In 1998, Litvinenko and several other FSB officers publicly accused his superiors for ordering the assassination of Russian tycoon and oligarch Boris Berezovsky. He was arrested on charges of exceeding his authority at work, was acquitted in late 1999, and eventually fled with his family to London, where he was granted asylum and became a journalist and writer. In late 2006, he was suddenly hospitalized and quickly died from poisoning by radioactive polonium-210. The screenplay is being adapted from Alan Cowell's book Sasha's Story: The Life and Death of a Russian Spy. Sounds like a fascinating story and character study and intriguing follow-up to Apes for Wyatt, but I'd like to see his take.
The news on Fassbender seems a bit premature, and I think it depends on scheduling and if this can come together, but boy would that be great casting if it works out. I love seeing Fassbender get into very deep character roles, it would be awesome to see him as a Russian KGB officer. In the meantime, Rupert Wyatt was included as part of that next Rise of the Apes sequel that Fox just signed Andy Serkis for, too. I'm glad to see his career really start to take off after The Escapist too, but it also seems like he's sticking with something next that sounds like a good story, not just a big Hollywood project. We'll keep you updated on Londongrad. The project is being produced by Johnny Depp and Graham King at Depp's Infinitum Nihil.