［映画.com ニュース］ モダンホラーの帝王スティーブン・キングの長編小説「ローズ・マダー」が、映画化されることになった。
In a major indie financing deal, Joni Sighvattson's Palomar Pictures ("Killer Elite," "Brothers") has launched a partnership with Grosvenor Park on a package of three films -- a pair of remakes and a Stephen King adaptation.
The companies jointly announced the alliance Monday at the American Film Market, under which Grosvenor Park will finance Palomar's upcoming productions of "Joseph and the Girl," "Elliot" and "Rose Madder." All three pics are targeted to go into production within 18 months.
Palomar is the first producer to sign on with Grosvenor Park since the latter announced plans during the Toronto Intl. Film Festival to resume financing films after a three-year absence. Grosvenor Park's aiming to provide a "one-stop shop" financing solution for independent films in the mid-range budget level via senior, gap and tax lending.
The first Palomar film to go before the cameras will be "Joseph and the Girl," a remake of a 2010 French heist thriller. The film will be directed by Gary McKendry and co-written with his writing partner Matt Sherring, the creative team behind "Killer Elite."
"Joseph" will start principal photography in March. Sighvatsson is in advanced negotiations with major actors for the lead roles.
The original "Joseph" centers on a man getting out of jail where robberies got him locked up for 20 years. He goes to live in the house of his ex-cellmate who died in prison and left behind his daughter, who's a swindler.
"Elliot" is a remake of the 2001 Norwegian film "Elling" with a script by Jay Roach, Larry Stuckey and Tom McCarthy. Sighvatsson will produce with Jay Roach and Kevin Spacey while Jennifer Perini at Roach's Everyman Pictures will exec produce.
The original "Elling" was based on Ingvar Ambjornsen's novel "Blood Brothers" about a man in his 40s and his struggle to function normally in society. "Rose Madder," based on King's 1995 fantasy novel, has been adapted by Naomi Sheridan ("In America"). That story's based on a woman who's on the run from her abusive husband and is able to travel into a painting.
Sighvatsson is finalizing partnership arrangements with domestic and international distribs.
"Joni's history the past two decades consistently producing high-quality films with fiscal discipline, and his knowledge and understanding of our changing marketplace, is the reason that Grosvenor Park is entering into this long term relationship," said Grosvenor Park partner Don Starr.
Sighvatsson said the pics will be "high-quality mainstream pictures" and use a simpler method of financing larger budget independent projects instead of the traditional financial model normally used.
Grosvenor Park has arranged financing for more than 400 projects since 1982, including "The Hurt Locker," "Righteous Kill," "PS I Love You" and "Deja Vu."
There are numerous big screen Stephen King adaptations, from the really good (The Shining) to the really bad (unfortunately there are too many of these to list but here's one for you...Dreamcatcher) and the "Oh yea, he did write those didn't he?!" (The Shawshank Redemption , The Green Mile) in between. But somehow, King's Rose Madder has evaded the feature film treatment until now. Variety is reporting that Palomar Pictures and Grosvenor Park are working on an adaptation of the 1995 novel with screenwriter Naomi Sheridan, writer of In America and daughter of My Left Foot director Jim) scripting the project.
No word on a director or any stars attached to the project but something tells me it won't be Mr. Sheridan after the flop that was Dream House (for the record, the director was very unhappy with the studio's final cut and wanted his name removed from the film). Madder, like many of King's stories, centers around elements of domestic violence (It, Needful Things, etc.) and tells the story of a woman who flees to the big city to escape her abusive police officer husband. Once there, she trades her wedding ring for a painting of a woman in a rose madder-colored dress, which she soon discovers is a kind of magical portal to a fantasy land and that the woman in the painting is kind of insane. From there, it's revenge, murder, an underground labyrinth, an evil one-eyed bull, magic seeds that grow a magic tree and all kinds of other Kings-isms. To make a long story short, shit just gets weird.
I'm not sure the book is ripe for the picking when it comes to big screen adaptations, which is likely why it's gone untouched for 16 years and is being brought to us by smaller production companies but I guess it's too early to judge and time will tell. Fun fact though: like many of King's stories, Rose Madder has connections to the author's other works, most significantly The Dark Tower series. The question is whether or not this adaptation is just as desired as that one.