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Now that Rupert Wyatt has moved on from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, allowing Cloverfield and Let Me In director Matt Reeves to helm the Apes sequel, the filmmaker’s schedule is wide open, though probably not for long.
Wyatt is circling an adaptation of Sebastian Faulks’ novel Birdsong, set during World War I, and is setting the project up at Embankment according to ScreenDaily. Wyatt tackled the script, which follows an English soldier as he shifts from the carnage of the war’s frontlines into a relationship with a married French woman.
Birdsong recently was adapted for television, airing on the BBC with Les Miserables co-star Eddie Redmayne in the lead. Last year, that production collected six BAFTA nominations, putting it on the radar of several high-profile filmmakers, but Wyatt has the inside track to a production schedule, and plans to help co-produce this adaptation with Alan Moloney.
Wyatt could give his production an immediate boost by hiring Redmayne, who’s hot right now thanks to Miserables, to reprise his role of Stephen Wraysford. We’ve often seen actors come back to secondary adaptations to give different passes at roles they’ve already attempted. And as fans of the book point out, the BBC adaptation cut out a section of the novel that takes place in the 1970s. It will be interesting to see how Wyatt, who upgraded digital effects to give depth and scope to the Apes universe, applies that knowledge to combat scenes for a love story. And while Wyatt shepherds along his Birdsong adaptation, the site says he’ll also co-produce Erica Beeney’s thriller Sleeping Dogs, also at Embankment. Busy times.