The Help Director Tate Taylor Up For The Jury

By Kristy Puchko 2012-04-25 08:42:00discussion comments
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Actor-turned-filmmaker Tate Taylor broke through in a major way last year directing the Oscar-winning adaptation of Kathryn Stockett's The Help. The drama, which centered on the struggles of women--black and white--in 1960s Mississippi, was both critically heralded as well as a box office sensation, earning more than $200 million worldwide. This resounding success has studios clamoring to work with Taylor, who not only helmed The Help, but also wrote its screenplay.

Surely he's been flooded with pitches for novel adaptations of every design, but only a few possibilities have surfaced. First, Warner Bros. approached him to adapt another 1960s-set bestseller, Peace Like a River. Then came talk that Tate might helm the Melissa McCarthy vehicle Tammy for New Line. But Taylor's proven extremely selective when it comes to his Help follow-up, and it seems both deals have since been rejected. Now, Deadline reports Taylor has entered into negotiations with Fox 2000 to write and direct a movie adaptation of the British mini-series The Jury.

Fox originally purchased the property in 2007 with lined up Marc Forster (The Kite Runner) to direct and Ides of March playwright/screenwriter Beau Willimon attached to adapt the script. However, this project never got any traction, and so Forster moved on to Quantum Solace and Fox shelved The Jury until now.

Written by Peter Morgan, whose penned such heralded dramas as Frost/Nixon and The Queen, the six-episode mini-series centered on the jury of a murder trial wherein a Sikh boy is accused of murdering a classmate who had long tormented him. Dealing with taboo topics like race and prejudice, the story is still woefully relevant, and it seems likely The Jury movie would shift the setting from the U.K. to the U.S., to play better to audiences Stateside. Between the subject matter and the source material's character-driven and ensemble nature, this project seems a good fit for Taylor's sensibilities. Hopefully he'll sign on soon.
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