Rupert Wyatt to Direct Impending 'Night Film' Noir Thriller Adaptation
Following his departure from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the sequel to the 2011 hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes, director Rupert Wyatt lined up Birdsong, an adaptation of Sebastian Faulks’ acclaimed World War I novel of the same name which he was writing himself. But that was a lower profile film. More recently he was in talks to direct Denzel Washington in The Eqaulizer, but negotiations fell apart. Now Wyatt has another new project set up at Chernin Etertaiment (though it does not have a studio home) in the form of Night Film, an adaptation of the forthcoming noir thriller novel from Marisha Pessl arriving this August.
Here's the official synopsis of Pessl's new novel:
On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive, cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova—a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.
For McGrath, another death connected to this seemingly cursed family dynasty seems more than just a coincidence. Though much has been written about Cordova’s dark and unsettling films, very little is known about the man himself.
Driven by revenge, curiosity, and a need for the truth, McGrath, with the aid of two strangers, is drawn deeper and deeper into Cordova’s eerie, hypnotic world.
The last time he got close to exposing the director, McGrath lost his marriage and his career. This time he might lose even more.
THR says Chernin Entertainment dipped into their discretionary funding to pick up this book for Wyatt to adapt, so they must have some faith in the source material and the director. It also helps that Pessl already has a best-selling book in her past, Special Topics in Calamity Physics. Wyatt won't be scripting this one himself, and a search is on for a writer. This week is a big one for Chernin since they backed Oblivion with Tom Cruise, but if that doesn't work out, they still have The Heat this summer with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, and that seems like a guaranteed comedy hit.